COMPTROLLER OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK
1 CENTRE STREET
NEW YORK, NY 10007-2341
ALAN G. HEVESI
February 24, 1995
The Honorable Robert M. Morgenthau
Office of the New York County District Attorney
One Hogan Place
New York, NY 10013
As per Comptroller Special Counsel Robert Brackman's telephone conversation with Assistant District Attorney Dan Castleman, we are transmitting herewith inspection reports from the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) which document false landlord housing-code certifications. These inspection reports were selected as part of our random sample during our review of the HPD housing-code violation certification process. We are transmitting these inspection forms to you so that you may conside appropriate action.
Landlords are warned on the HPD certification form that false certifications are punishable by criminal fines of up to $1000. Yet HPD has apparently decided not to follow our recent suggestion that landlords caught falsely certifying be punished. Our estimate is that only about 10% of all landlord certifications are re-inspected by HPD. Certified violations which are not re-inspected, or are re-inspected and found to have been corrected are removed from HPD records and therefore exempt from housing-court action.
Our sample projects that roughly 40% of the 100,000 violations certified by landlords as having been corrected were found upon re-inspection to have instead not been corrected. The comparatively few landlords who are re-inspected and are found to have mis-certified ought to be prosecuted as a warning to would be perjurers. Otherwise, the City's entire housing-code effort is compromised.
You will note in the Appendix that we have included inspection reports called "Inspection Orders" for certification re-inspections, designated as "CIV-2s" by HPD. An "N." in a CIV-2 Inspection Order is a certified housing-code violation that was found by the HPD inspector to have not, in fact, been corrected. Our Appendix has different listings for Inspection Orders from The Bronx, Brooklyn, and Manhattan. No samples were obtained by our study from Queens or Staten Island.
Any questions regarding our study or the Attachment can be directed to Comptroller staffer Michael Skrak at 669-7317 or Leichter staffer Jonathan Bowles at 397-5913.
Alan G. Hevesi
Franz S. Leichter