ten-net-logo.gif - 5895 Bytes

no-post.gif - 5505 Bytes

Click here to send mail to Spotty

public housing spotty gif - 1000 Bytes

Public Housing Spotlight

Issue 66
Published on October 17, 2000

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

(Click Here for Directory of Issues)

HUD loses Billions
NYCHA loses Millions
Tenants' just plain losers!

On Friday, after this basic story was written, proofed, formatted in a Desktop Publishing program for faxing the 500 copies, and a separate issue was published for the Website, I deleted it all. I realized that the new Washington Times' Insight magazine article might have repercussions that aren't immediately apparent. I thought of those people I know at NYCHA who will be hurt if renewed press attention forces an honest look into the way NYCHA handles money.

For there will be people who will be hurt, even if they have not directly participated in the fleecing of NYCHA's tenants. Some will be scrambling to make deals to avoid any possible prosecution, but most will just find that their "innocence" is not necessarily a get out of jail free card.

Then, over this weekend, I rethought that decision. The fact is, those folks, while not actually a part of the corrupt infrastructure of the Authority, have helped through their inaction to insure that innocents get hurt while the corrupt flourish. And that, I realized, placed them at an even lower level than those razing the NYCHA treasury to enhance their own lives. At least the corrupt scum are feeding their greed by approving unnecessary Change Orders, hiring superfluous consultants or allowing asbestos to remain on roofs in Developments in which people live and children play. They have sold their souls for money, something that lowlifes have done throughout history.

But the "innocents" that stood by, or complained weakly and ran as soon as a better position was offered, deserve whatever they get.

Corruption and cowardice exist well together.

When greed of the magnitude found at NYCHA is put under a microscope (or a Spotlight?), cowardice will be found to surround most of the lead characters. Assistants, Supervisors, underlings, secretaries and peers will be forced to admit that while they could surely see what was going on around them, their fear of retaliation from the power structure that is beholden to the crooks had caused them to retreat and pretend everything was going just fine.

Some people who strive to convey an aura of professionalism will be found to have been entirely derelict in their duties. While some of these people will not have been candidates for Beatification, there are among them people who wear their moral compass on their sleeves, and some others who (hypocritically) loudly and continually profess their own religiousness as quickly as they say hello. These also will be found to have assisted the crooks, hurt the honest folk and run into hiding when the calls for assistance were given.

They'll hope that we'll give them understanding, as they cry about how hard it would have been to go forward. How they had bills and/or a family to support. And, the one least likely to garner sympathy, how they closed their eyes in order to get a promotion to an area where they might be "able to help."

Well, they shouldn't look to this rag for sympathy! The sympathy window was covered over with concrete. If it were up to me, the cowards would get tougher sentences than the crooks.

It could also be a shame that some politicians/officials may well be hurt if other media start looking into this story. Moreover, some may be the very politicians/officials that are publicly champions for public housing. But, they've all had years of certified letters, faxes and email asking them to help stem the flood of taxpayer's funds leaking out of the public housing budgets. They were disinterested, incompetent or sharing in the corrupt profits. Now we may be getting nearer the time when they will be asked some embarrassing questions. Here is one reason:

The mysterious absence of any administrative records for 143 contracts worth over $50,000,000 has now been given some national attention. In the Washington Times magazine, Insight, both HUD and NYCHA had their . . . hmm . . . accounting procedures reamed by the reporter, Ms. Kelly O'Meara. (Click Here!)

While we here at Spotty had been harping on the absolute lack of accountability on the part of the then CAD Director, William (little Billy) Russo and Deputy Director/Field Operations Anthony (Kenny) LaBarca, it seems that HUD was playing its own game of monopoly with nobody in charge of the bank.

In HUD's case, however, there is a glaring and important difference. The HUD IG will actually criticize an inept and/or corrupt administration, when the facts leave nothing else to blame. The NYCHA IG will search for a way to assign blame to an employee below the title of Asst. Director. If the IG's Office can't find anyone at the lower levels who can be feasibly assigned the blame, then the investigation will be allowed to die a slow death, while DOI will answer all queries with: "We DO NOT comment, as that's part of an active investigation."

In Ms. O'Meara's HUD story, we learn that HUD DO NOT seem to be able to account for $59 Billion dollars. The best defense HUD has come up with has to do with computer system problems.

(Hmm? Odd that both HUD and NYCHA would be having computer problems that lead to, in NYCHA's case, the loss of all tracking info tied to over $50 Million, and led to, in HUD's case, the loss of all tracking info tied to over $50 Billion!)

I won't go into the HUD story here, as I couldn't do it justice. Ms. O'Meara, through her own sources and through her interview with Susan Gaffney, the HUD IG, has put together a chronicle of mis/mal/non-feasance that should have you questioning why nobody cares what happens to your tax dollars, as long as you keep sending them in every April.

The HUD portion of this story is a National disgrace. Nevertheless, we in New York nonfeasance be casting any stones, as we have our own missing funds. Unfortunately, NYCHA doesn't have someone with the courage and integrity of a Ms. Gaffney. We have DOI . . .

Let's remember, Billy Russo was at the top of the chain at CAD (Contract Administration Department ). As the name of the department makes clear, administering contracts is CAD's reason to exist. Years of payments on these missing contracts were processed through NYCHA's FMS system and tax money was converted into checks. However, were you to have been given total access to CAD's computer system, you would not find a single one of these contracts. They did NOT exist, as far as CAD's computers were concerned. CAD had no documentation of Inspection, Insurance Certification, Percentage of Completion on the contract, and/or any other documentation that covered these contracts. The contracts ONLY existed as checks cut by FMS. So, when payments were found for contracts not being monitored, someone should have been held responsible. (In fact, Inspectors have gotten in trouble for not having that information instantly available. Yet, CAD had none of this info on these contracts anywhere in its computer system.)

Of course, someone was held accountable.

The person who was punished in this case was the one who "Spotted" that $50,000,000 was spent on phantom contracts!

Only at NYCHA . . . only at NYCHA!

(Or, should it now read
"Only at NYCHA . . .AND Only at HUD!" )

There is a new site that's filled with articles about NYCHA and it's varied scandals. Spotty highly recommends it.
(Hell, we believe it should be used as part of the Orientation of New Employees!)

The site is NYCHAnews. It is located at
and can be viewed by clicking here!

© MM Public Housing Spotlight and John Ballinger. All rights reserved.
Get a Free Search Engine for Your Web Site

Issue links are at page bottom
or click here for a Directory page with Issue overviews.

Click on the mailbox to send us your thoughts!
Or Message/Fax us with info at 718/745-0170

Links to all Issues are at page bottom

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

City Limits GIF graphic- 3573 Bytes
Click here to view City Limits Magazine

nyc housing authority (public housing) symbol jpg - 5961 Bytes
NYC Housing Authority's
(NYCHA) own site

public housing authorities directors association - 4956 Bytes
Public Housing Authorities
Directors Association site

Public Housing

Directory page with Issue overviews. |
Current Issue of the Public Housing Spotlight |
Special NYCHA Corruption Issue |
ATIS (Timekeeping System) Issue |
Spotty's Home |

Issue 1 | Issue 2 | Issue 3 | Issue 4 | Issue 5 |
Issue 6 | Issue 7 | Issue 8 | Issue 9 | Issue 10 |
Issue 11 | Issue 12 | Issue 13 | Issue 14 | Issue 15 |
Issue 16 | Issue 17 | Issue 18 | Issue 19 | Issue 20 |
Issue 21 | Issue 22 | Issue 23 | Issue 24 | Issue 25 |
Issue 26 | Issue 27 | Issue 28 | Issue 29 | Issue 30 |
Issue 31 | Issue 32 | Issue 33 | Issue 34 | Issue 35 |
Issue 36 | Issue 37 | Issue 38 | Issue 39 | Issue 40 |
Issue 41 | Issue 42 | Issue 43 | Issue 44 | Issue 45 |
Issue 46 | Issue 47 | Issue 48 | Issue 49 | Issue 50 |
Issue 51 | Issue 52 | Issue 53 | Issue 54 | Issue 55 |
Issue 56 | Issue 57 | Issue 58 | Issue 59 | Issue 60 |
Issue 61 | Issue 62 | Issue 63 | Issue 64 | Issue 65 |
Issue 66 | Issue 67 | Issue 68 | Issue 69 | Issue 70 |
Issue 71 | Issue 72 | Issue 73 | Issue 74 | Issue 75 |
Issue 76 | Issue 77 | Issue 78 | Issue 79 | Issue 80 |
Issue 81 | Issue 82 | Issue 83 | Issue 84 | Issue 85 |
Issue 86 | Issue 87 | Issue 88 | Issue 89 | Issue 90 |
Issue 91 | Issue 92 | Issue 93 | Issue 94 | Issue 95 |
Issue 96 | Issue 97 | Issue 98 | Issue 99 | Issue 100 |
Issue 101 | Issue 102 | Issue 103 | Issue 104 | Issue 105 |
Issue 106 | Issue 107 | Issue 108 |
Secret Santa Issue | Extra Issue 1 |
2nd Anniversary Issue |