In Issue 13, in December of 1998, we wrote that there was hope that an independent investigation into NYCHA corruption would soon begin. Many things led us to that belief, among them the rumors that the NYS Attorney General's office and/or HUD's Inspector General would be launching probes into the system-wide corruption at our HHousing Authority.
But all that happened was that Ruben Franco got his walking papers. Why?
Well, going by rumors again, City Hall was told that unless they did something about NYCHA an investigation would have to commence.
So Rudy terminated Ruben!
A year later, nothing has changed.
Yes, the new Chair, Martinez, seems to want a more touchy-feely Housing Authority, but he still wants to hide the problems rather than address them. And that is almost as bad as Ruben's pro-active attempt to carve a Monarchy out of 250 Broadway. (A convicted felon in charge of Data-Security? That was fine with Ruben as long as he owned the felon!)
So, a year after we hoped to disappear, we are, instead, looking forward to a year that should require more issues than we published way back in 1999.
The requirement contracts for Sprinkler/Standpipe fire safety appear to be ripe for a scandal. And we now have some well placed sources watching over those contracts.
We are receiving notes on how certain NYCHA Administrators/Managers/Superintendents are bypassing the un-lucrative "low-bid" contracting process. These schemes, while inventive, should cause much chuckling and finger pointing in the prison's yard when a string of NYCHA execs finally got caught. (As soon as 2-3 people retire this year, these stories will be printed.)
But let's clarify something here. The vast majority of NYCHA's Managers and Superintendents are honest, hard working people. It's the exceptions to the rule that are reaping illegal fruit from C for P and other schemes. Those exceptions are our targets, and we regret any aspersions that some may have inferred from our recent issue.
The Design Dept. is still due for a visit by any investigative agency that wants some media time. And with NYCHA now putting together the tag-team of Joanna (I got promoted again) Aniello and one of the original parent's of Spotty, William (little Billy) Russo*, a half-dozen issues will probably be needed to shine a bright enough light on those two so that a minimum of damage to the taxpayers, NYCHA and our tenants can be assured.
We hope the new Millennium brings a clean sweep of NYCHA's crooks, while bringing the rest of you enough hope, joy and love to make 2000 a year you'd like repeated!
*Other than suffering the retaliation of being transferred due to my finding millions of dollars in "lost" contract files, Bill Russo never personally tried dumping on me. But I witnessed his daily berating of those whom he had cowed, and I saw the meanness he exhibited against Secretaries and other low-level employees who weren't part of his "clique." It was a combination of Russo's belittling of others, his proclivity for blaming the lowest level person within reach for mistakes made by himself and other ‘Clique' members, and the IG's failed promise of a job for another of Russo's victims, Ms. Millie Sanchez (see Web Corruption Issue), that caused Spotty to be conceived. If NYCHA wants to know how they could have prevented Spotty, all they needed to do was make honest men of Bill Russo and John Kilpatrick of the IG's office!
© MM Public Housing Spotlight and John Ballinger. All rights reserved.
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