Today: 20.08.2018
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Corey Johnson: NYCHA officials should be put on trial.

The head of the City Council called Tuesday for prosecution of city Housing Authority officials who hid dangerous and deplorable living conditions from the feds. “Anyone who was covering anything up, if it was criminal in any way, there should be criminal charges,” Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Manhattan) said. “It’s unacceptable to cover things up...
Time: 22:18     Date: 12.06.2018
Metro News: Corey Johnson: NYCHA officials should be put on trial. NY Post 24 - US News

“Anyone who was covering anything up, if it was criminal in any way, there should be criminal charges,” Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Manhattan) said.

“It’s unacceptable to cover things up that threaten the life and safety of children and public housing residents. There are no excuses for it.”

Councilman Ritchie Torres (D-The Bronx), who grew up in public housing, also said, “If government officials committed a crime, then the US Attorney has an obligation to hold them accountable, even if it means criminal prosecution.”

Manhattan US Attorney Geoffrey Berman on Monday filed a civil suit that accused unidentified NYCHA officials of misleading the Department of Housing and Urban Development about lead-paint hazards, and also accused managers and workers of scheming to hide other problems from federal inspectors.

The alleged tactics included shutting off water service to entire buildings to stop pipes from leaking, and using painted plywood — or even cardboard — to replace missing or damaged ceiling tiles and drain covers.

During the time period covered by the suit, NYCHA was run by John Rhea, appointed by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and de Blasio appointee Shola Olatoye, who resigned in April amid the lead-paint scandal.

Legal experts said the scams detailed by the feds amounted to felonies punishable by up to five years in prison, including making false statements and defrauding taxpayer money in the form of HUD funding.

Some of the allegations in Monday’s suit echoed those in a November report from the city Department of Investigation that said Olatoye admitted falsely certifying to HUD that lead-paint inspections had been conducted in 55,000 potentially dangerous apartments.

At the time, Cohen put the odds that Olatoye would face prosecution for making a false statement at “better than 50-50,” but on Tuesday he raised the estimate for her and others referenced — but not named — in the feds’ suit to between 70 and 85 percent, “speaking conservatively.”

A spokeswoman for Mayor de Blasio — who agreed to settle the suit by spending an additional $1 billion on NYCHA improvements — said City Hall was “moving swiftly” to review the feds’ suit and punish anyone involved in wrongdoing.

Olatoye refused to comment outside her Harlem apartment Tuesday morning. Rhea could not be reached.

Additional reporting by Nolan Hicks and Kevin Fasick

Metro

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Opinion

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Living

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Business

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Metro

Metro News: De Blasio promises party for Little Leaguers if they win it all. NY Post 24 - US News
De Blasio promises party for Little Leaguers if they win it all.
Mayor de Blasio is promising a big bash if Staten Island’s Little League team wins the championship. “If they go...
Metro News: Cuomo signs bill creating panel to probe prosecutor misconduct. NY Post 24 - US News
Cuomo signs bill creating panel to probe prosecutor misconduct.
New York will become the first state in the nation to establish a panel to probe accusations of prosecutorial misconduct...
Metro News: Investigators couldn’t find yeshiva — so they gave up: critics. NY Post 24 - US News
Investigators couldn’t find yeshiva — so they gave up: critics.
City probers who were supposed to be looking into shoddy instruction at Brooklyn yeshivas found a butcher shop on the ground...
Metro News: Estate battle rages on between Ken Thompson’s widow, mother. NY Post 24 - US News
Estate battle rages on between Ken Thompson’s widow, mother.
The mom of late Brooklyn DA Ken Thompson will be allowed to continue her lawsuit against his widow in their battle of the...
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Sport

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