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Public Housing Spotlight

Issue 48
Published on March 10, 2000

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

(Click Here for Directory of Issues)

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Here's Looking At You

Spotty's friends in CAD (Yes, we do have friends at CAD.) have been telling us some interesting stories. To begin, they are being told, by both their superiors and certain contractors, that while the Feds announced the arrests of 1 CAD Executive and 2 Supervisors, CAD personnel are being told that there were a total of between 7 and 10 people arrested. The first 3 were publicized, but the remaining 4-7 people were sent back to work wired to the hilt. But, as contractors and CAD bosses are warning everyone of this attempt to get more info on corruption, it would appear to be already doomed.

(I hope that if this story is true, and they really wanted to stem corruption (?), the Feds didn't tell DOI [NYCHA's IG's Office] that they were sending those NYCHA employees back to gather taped information. If so, then the Feds should have read Spotty first!)

I'm happy to put the kibosh on another rumor spread by some of the same CAD bosses. Spotty does NOT track the identity of those who listen to the audio files that have been placed on the Website, nor do we track who visits any of the issues on the site. There are NO identifier cookies involved in visits to Spotty. While we do get a sheet of statistics based on the visits to the NYCHA-Spotlight.com website, we have no way of telling who the person is that grabbed a copy of the audio files for her/his listening pleasure. (We can tell you that 2,500 people visited from an AOL Servers in a certain month, but we can not tell you any other info beyond that. And we have no intention of changing that.

That's why we can state, without fear of contradiction, that HUD visited our website 40 times in January, but we can't say it were Andrew Cuomo or the HUD IG that had such good taste!

The third bit of CAD trivia has bittersweet flavor to it. We're told that Nick Calace is leaving NYCHA for a job in the private sector that pays a bit less than $150,000 per annum. As our CAD sources had been telling us that Mr. Calace treated those working under him with respect, from the secretaries through the Field Supervisors, we kept our nose away from that Department. As you'll see in an upcoming issue, that policy has dramatically changed.

Next, we hear that Nick will be joining the Construction Management firm Kreisler Borg Florman (KBF).

But, we also hear that KBF has some construction management contracts in CAD worth tens of millions of dollars. Wasn't there a regulation regarding how many years one must wait before joining a firm that has contracts with NYCHA? Or does that only count for people BELOW the rank of Director? And please NYCHA, don't try using the old BS dodge of "Well, Mr. Calace will NOT work directly on any NYCHA contracts with KBF." Even if he promises to work blindfolded for the next 5 years, his NYCHA contacts certainly give KBF an advantage over competing CM firms. And even if he isn't part of the clique in NYCHA construction hierarchy that all were working in the mid-east together before jumping into the NYCHA money pit, he has enough of a NYCHA network to make KBF very happy.

Finishing the Mr. Calace portion of this issue, I want to congratulate him in being able to improve the morale of the honest contract inspectors. This feat is all the more amazing when you realize that Nick was in the Aniello doghouse when he was demoted and sent to CAD and yet he is still coming out with nothing from that doghouse stuck to the soles of his shoes!

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Well, we do feel a little out of our element in this story. But, as it certainly concerns NYCHA's tenant's being screwed by someone they should be able to trust, it really isn't that far removed from other corruption we've written about.

However, as the person doing the dirty deed is not holding a government job, we'll hold his name back for now and see if he QUICKLY changes his ways.

We're told that a certain contractor was installing cabinets in a NYCHA Development. Along comes the Tenant Association President. The TA Pres strikes up a conversation, and Abracadabra! The contractor has suddenly donated two brand new computers. We're told that this TA Pres has found GROUNDS to talk other contractors into donating cash gifts.

You may well be thinking, "What a gift for gab this fellow must have? But why does Spotty care if some contractor donates computers or money to a Tenant Association?"

Ah ha! You see, this dude isn't gathering gifts for the Tenant Association. The 2 computers went to him, as does the cash!

For a bit more $, he will guarantee no problems from the local coalitions, and for a few dollars more, he'll promise the contractor that he will make their Section 3 problems disappear. (Section 3 forces the contractor to hire some workers living at the Development for good paying jobs.)

When there isn't a contractor around to fleece, he'll run other scams. Getting neighboring stores to "donate" food for activities at the Development, and then selling the food to other stores is a good one.

But our Pres thinks he can't be touched. He throws the name of his "friend" around, and the fact that his friend is a City Council Member has many folks afraid to say anything. And if that isn't enough, he spits out the names of his other political connections in City Hall and other dark and mysterious places.

As we stated up front, Tenant Associations are not normally in Spotty's domain. But when tenants are losing a shot at a decent paycheck because some politician's friend is using his position to unfairly enrich himself, we feel like we're still at 250 Broadway.

Now, although its about as likely as Finkel's Friends ripping up that idiotic $100,000,000 lease, it could be that our TA Pres thought that it was fine to screw everyone in his Development for some unknown reason, we won't print:

  • 1) the TA President's name
  • 2) the contractor's name
  • 3) the Development's name or
  • 4) the Council Member's name.
  • Yet!

    If after he reads this and realizes the error in his extortion, we're sure to hear that there has been a sudden hiring boom at that Project, meaning that some tenant's are now earning a paycheck through Section 3.

    And in order to clear his guilty conscience he might see that one brand new Dell computer is delivered to the nearest Community Center to that TA President's overly large and VERY inexpensive NYCHA apartment.

    We hope that this story doesn't prevent future largesse by contractors working for NYCHA. Giving a gift to a Community Center or other worthy endeavor that helps the young or old in a NYCHA environment is a great thing. It is SO much better than being a greedy lowlife who screws the people he represents out of good paying jobs they legally deserve!

    © MM 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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