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Public Housing Spotlight
on the New York City
Housing Authority

Issue 102
Published on September 13, 2002

(Click Here for NYCHA "preliminary" Audit
by NYC Comptroller Alan Hevesi)

(Click Here for Directory of Issues)

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LaMarca without *NSYNC

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In our last issue, we introduced you to the innovative LaMarca method of obtaining tickets to an *NSYNC concert. According to our sources, the Deputy Director of Office Services, Joe LaMarca, received the tickets from a Canon copy machine Vendor representative. Shortly thereafter, NYCHA switched from Minolta to Canon copy machines. That's the NYCHA method of . . . er . . . Quid Pro Quo . . . one hand washing the other . . . oh, why beat around the bush. It's what everyone but the NYCHA IG (DOI) calls BRIBERY!
Click here to view LaMarca in issue 101

When you find corruption
in the management,
you'll usually find incompetence
in the management.

For years NYCHA used a mail delivery service called Levitan Mailers. One of the principals, and the person in charge of the NYCHA account was named Mr. Pugliese.

Joe LaMarca took personal charge of all dealings with Levitan

When NYCHA decided to move from 250 Broadway to 90 Church Street, Levitan (and LaMarca) knew that NYCHA would no longer need Levitan to move mail, as NYCHA was going to be in the same building with the US Post Office.

LaMarca told others that he wanted to do a favor for Pugliese. According to LaMarca, Pugliese needed to get a job for a "good kid" named Jason.

A position opens in the Mail Center.

LaMarca gets "Jason" hired.

Turns out Jason was the Vendor Rep Pugliese's son.

Unfortunately, entry level only pays $19,000 a year, and that's not what Jason wants to hear. LaMarca arranges for Jason to be given a Motor Vehicle Operator's (MVO) title, at $25,000 per annum.

The fact that there is a city list being established for that title and Jason is not on that list means nothing.

The fact that there is very little vehicular activity within the Mail Center means nothing.

All that matters is that Jason wants a job and he wants more than $19,000 per year.

But LaMarca might have underestimated Jason's salary needs.

Shortly after his hiring, Jason:

  1. refused to drive a mail van, even with his new MVO title
  2. stormed around the mailcenter calling all of his fellow employees "Monkeys" (yet, Mr. LaMarca declined to discipline him)
  3. had a good old time running up NYCHA cellular telephone bills for several months (and Mr. Lamarca and Mr. Martin declined to have him pay any charges - one bill alone was for over $2,000.00 in one month!)
  4. tried to file a phony workers compensation claim (for an accident that no one ever saw and supposedly happened six months earlier)

Well, the happy ending is:
Jason resigned.

The happy ending NYCHA would like you to know:
NYCHA has stopped doing business with Levitan.

The fact NYCHA would rather you forget:
They stopped doing business with Levitan only AFTER Mr. Pugliese retired. And if you read the LaMarca story in our prior issue, you know that Vendor reps have a LOT of influence with LaMarca/NYCHA!

(Editor's note: It would have been great if we could have gotten more info on LaMarca and Levitan. But our NYCHA sources were unable to gather much.

We were told that:

  • LaMarca alone negotiated the contract
  • LaMarca alone created the service orders
  • LaMarca alone reviewed the invoices
  • LaMarca alone approved the invoices
  • LaMarca alone processed the R and I's
  • LaMarca alone saw to the delivery of their payments

Our sources say that Ken Martin, as LaMarca's boss, might be able to help in any investigation.)

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Income Verification

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can't verify their own paperwork!

About 3 months ago, a large number of applications/tenants folders from the Income Verification Unit were found stuffed in a closet.

According to our sources, Ms. Teresa Mojica is in charge of the folders, and she distributes them to the appropriate staffers.

But, for some reason, she had allowed such a backlog that she needed to hide the overage.

She chose to hide them in a closet.

Unfortunately, Teresa was caught this time. However, as she is a "Teacher's Pet", she got away with it.

Now, a new stash of files was found. The powers-that-be over Teresa realized that covering up for Teresa hiding applications/folders for a second time would not be easily brushed aside.

So a new suspect was needed. Luckily, finding someone to frame is a talent that some NYCHA execs have in abundance.

This time, the files were found in the desk of a Housing Assistant's (HA).

The same powers-that-be that paid no attention to Teresa's burial of applications/folders were suddenly all over this case. They blamed the HA and another staffer. But that was problematic, as the staffer was out on leave at the time of the incident.

This is not virgin territory for that office.

Recently, they were going to "write-up" another staffer for being Absent Without Leave (AWOL).

They stated that she had never submitted a leave request, and they stated that no copies of any requests were found.

Now those of you with a few years working for the Authority are probably shaking your heads in recognition of this long used anti-employee tactic that has caused so many so much pain in the past. Leave requests and Timecards have all been altered or destroyed when some NYCHA exec decides to do a little career adjusting to people below them.

And the exec usually has no problem gaining access to the paperwork that needs altering.

In this case, NYCHA appears to be backing off on charging anything against the employee who was on leave.

We might have an idea why.

You see, other staffers from that office did the unthinkable:

They stood up for a peer,
against the will of their bosses.

They came forward and stated that they had SEEN the Leave of Absence paperwork. Not just that; they had seen the Approval!

The charges were dropped. Our sources tell us that if Ray Deppe was doing his job, none of this would have happened.

But remember, those LOA forms were in a Timekeeper's file and the staffer had a copy at her desk. Before the other employees made their stand, all of those copies had been stolen.

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("Disappeared" might sound nicer, but this is a theft of government documents. If the DOI/IG's office weren't being run as a Public Relation's company, they might have thought this to be at least as important as catching someone on an extended coffee break!)

Now, having the employees come forward was great for the absent staffer. But the question for Tino Hernandez needs be: Who "disappeared" the Leave of Absence Requests and who "disappeared" the Leaves' approval?

But that question never gets asked,
and certainly doesn't get answered.

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© 2002 Public Housing Spotlight and John Ballinger. All rights reserved.
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Contact Jack Ballinger at nychaspotlight@netscape.net
for a Real Audio sound clip containing a
conversation wherein DOI Investigator
John Kilpatrick discusses how he learned
that 2 NYCHA execs attended
a Mafia connected contractor's funeral .

Contact Jack Ballinger at nychaspotlight@netscape.net
for a Real Audio sound clip containing
the (3 Meg) confession of Tony DiAlto.
Tony was a member of a group of
corrupt Contract Inspectors working at NYCHA.
Neither Tony nor the person he confessed to
sharing his bribes with (Richard Penesi)
were ever charged, let alone prosecuted, by DOI.

For a great source of general tenant information,
visit the Tenant Net Home Page |

And for a great source of New York City news and
policy information, visit our friends at the Gotham Gazette

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NYC Housing Authority's
(NYCHA) own site

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U.S. Department of
Housing and Urban Development

451 7th Street S.W.,
Washington, DC 20410
Telephone: (202) 708-1112
TTY: (202) 708-1455

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Public Housing Authorities
Directors Association site

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