With apologies to the departed Mike Royko, the late, great Chicago Columnist, who was a master at this format:
Skip, the Spotlight skeptic, and I were driving into Manhattan recently, and we were discussing the Housing Authority.
Skip: What ever happened to your dire predictions for NYCHA's data as a result of the lack of proper Y2K preparations? Don't tell me Spotty was wrong!
Spotty: Oh, NYCHA did have problems. I just didn't view it as important enough to do an issue on it.
Skip: Come on. Admit it. If you knew of a problem you would have written it up.
Spotty: Okay, try this. Call Personnel and ask for a copy of some of your old records. Try asking for your Notice of Personnel Action. That document lists your former titles, present title, salaries and other info that may be very important to you some day. You'll be told that they cannot locate it. If you think that maybe yours is the only one to be lost, have a friend ask for his or hers. He or she will get the same answer. Somehow, in transferring the data to the new system, they lost all the data! There are many other documents lost, but nobody seems to care about it. I thought Martinez would crack the whip at 250 to get things straightened out, but he apparently left the whip at his old bank job.
Skip: Well, even you couldn't find any money wasted due to NYCHA working on the Y2K problem. That's a plus!
Spotty: Not so fast, Skip. NYCHA replaced over 100 Gateway Computers with Dell models, and the claim is they did it due to the Gateway's not being able to handle the calendar turning to Y2K.
Skip: So now you fault NYCHA for fixing Y2K problems. You really are a gadfly, like that City Hall guy wrote in the Post.
Spotty (ignoring the Post dig): The problem with their explanation of the Y2K incompatibility is that it is false. Every Gateway computer that NYCHA purchased was a Pentium, and Gateway states that every Pentium they sold could easily be made Y2K compatible. BIOS changes and other FREE fixes were available on the Gateway web site. This was just another NYCHA goof (or worse).
Skip: I notice you avoided the NY Post comment. Are you feeling guilty that DOI claims you ruined their investigation by going public with the Channel 9 Investigative series on NYCHA?
Spotty: No! In no way do I feel any guilt. And I understand why the DOI source insisted on anonymity. The flawed statement, as reported in the NY Post on February 26, 2000 was:
"They basically blew [DiAlto's] cover and made him useless to us," said one DOI source. That's so much BS it hardly deserves a rebuttal.
Skip: Forgive me, but I think DOI had a valid point and you're just being evasive. When you identified Tony and discussed the investigation you made Tony useless as an undercover operative for DOI.
Spotty: Listen, if anything hurt the DOI investigation it would be the fact that all of our names leaked out of the NYCHA IG/DOI within days of our agreeing to work with the investigators. The "He went public!" DOI excuse still fails any sniff test. There is no dispute that I brought Tony to meet with the IG/DOI people on January 6, 1997. And I can't dispute that I went public through Polly Kreisman's WWOR Channel 9 report in May of 1998. Any idiot can do the figuring required to see that DOI was, at the very least, disingenuous and that another reporter might well have followed up with:
Tony DiAlto gave you the whole setup in January of 1996. On the audiotapes on the Internet, Tony lists bribes of up to $30,000. He talks of receiving money from many contractors, he names the contractors and points to the bagman who collected the money for a whole group of his fellow contract inspectors. Yet over 16 months later the NYC Department of Investigation still could not produce any other credible evidence of corruption? Other Inspectors offered information, and some were even willing to wear wires, and you still couldn't put together a single case against anyone?
Skip: Uh, I think I'd like to change the subject now.
Spotty: I thought you would.
Skip: I guess you ran out of sources in NYCHA's Operations Dept., as I haven't seen anything on Ms. Aniello recently.
Spotty: Oh, I still get reports on that Dept. on a near daily basis. The most recent news is that she was given two more assistants. Also, I hear that Joanna, who was promoted so often that she's known as the fastest rising Housing Assistant in NYC history, is now trying to let an Edwin McDonald equal her speedy ascent. But as Joanna is the mom of Anthony Carbonetti, Rudy Giuliani's Chief of Staff, she has a tiny edge in the nepotism category. Mr. McDonald, on the other hand, was not a relative. He was just Joanna's driver.
Skip: Now see, you're doing it again. You have no proof that Joanna's rise up the NYCHA Chain of Command had anything to do with her son's job.
Spotty: I see that this is going nowhere. What do you say we stop this conversation and go drink enough green beer to make us scream on our next visit to the men's room.
Skip: Now we've found something on which we agree.
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
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