Lawler Demands Further Investigation Into NYCHA After 70 Employees Charged in Historic Federal Bribery Bust

Lawler Demands Further Investigation Into  NYCHA After 70 Employees Charged in Historic Federal Bribery Bust

By M. C. Millman

Federal prosecutors arrested 70 employees of the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) for bribery and extortion for allegedly raking in more than $2 million in cash payments for no-bid repair contracts.

The NYCHA is the nation’s largest public housing authority and receives more than $1.5 billion in federal funding each year. Today, it also set a record as “the largest single-day bribery takedown in the history of the Justice Department,”  according to Damian Williams, the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York. The scheme involved nearly a third of New York City’s 335 public housing developments. 

Arrests were made for past and present employees residing in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and North Carolina,  who “allegedly used their jobs at NYCHA to line their own pockets” on no-bid repairs contracts under $10,000, according to a statement issued by Williams Tuesday.

Prosecutors say that those arrested allegedly demanded about 10% to 20% of a contracts value which averaged between $500 and $2,000 or more.

“For years, I have railed against NYCHA for corruption, mismanagement of funds, and more, and today, all of those concerns have come to a head,” said Congressman Lawler after the arrests were announced. “With the arrests of over 60 NYCHA employees for their participation in an alleged pay-to-play scheme, it’s clear that the entire authority must be investigated to ensure this corruption doesn’t run deeper.

“That’s exactly why I introduced the Accountability for NYCHA Act, H.R.6550, which would require the Inspector General of HUD to provide a report to Congress on NYCHA and their activities to ensure they are in compliance with prior federal agreements. This is all the more critical at this moment to help prevent additional public corruption from one of the most corrupt public authorities in America, which oversees a multi-billion dollar budget.

“With hundreds of buildings and potentially tens of thousands of New York City residents being put at risk by the NYCHA employees who were arrested, it’s imperative we advance the Accountability for NYCHA Act expeditiously. Tackling public corruption and ensuring NYCHA residents aren’t living in squalor should be a bipartisan effort supported by all of New York’s Congressional delegation.

Weekend Weather: Above Average Temperatures for Weekend Ahead
  • Feb 9 2024
  • |
  • 11:33 AM

Monsey Memories: The History of Dexter Folder Co. in Pearl River
  • Feb 10 2024
  • |
  • 6:45 PM

Be in the know

receive RocklandDaily’s news & updates on whatsapp

 Start Now