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Public Housing Spotlight

Issue 68
Published on November 21, 2000

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

(Click Here for Directory of Issues)

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Guardian Angel?
(Part 2!)

In our last issue (Click Here), we told you of Nora Reissig-Lazzaro's attempt to have mentally ill tenants who were being evicted by NYCHA put under Nora's Department's "Guardianship." Then, when one NYCHA department ordered the eviction of someone deemed incompetent to handle her or his affairs, NYCHA would only face it's own employees as the advocates for the person being evicted.
(I doubt that Charles Dickens could have come up with a bleaker plot than this. Here we have mentally ill people living in poverty and facing eviction, with their only champions being those who are also in the employ of the landlord!)

Now we see that in both NYCHA and DC 237, getting treated unfairly does not necessarily end upon someone's expending of their last breath. Lower level employees don't just get kicked when they're down. The institutional beating, intentional or due to managerial incompetence, can continue to be pressed onto the deceased person's family.

NYCHA often tells employees that you've
"joined the NYCHA family".

The local union tells the members that
"you're now brothers and sisters."

Well, turns out that in reality,
you've become siblings in some
wildly dysfunctional family-unit,
as the following story illustrates.

We received this request (below) for help shortly after Issue 67 was published and out of here. I'm hoping that someone reading this plea can get this widow her horrendously overdue pension checks.

I won't include any of the woman's identifiers here, but the people who have (mis-) handled her case thus far at NYCHA and DC 237 will know to whom we refer. However, just NYCHA's and DC 237's awareness of the problem doesn't necessarily insure a speedy solution, as this woman's 7+ month wait for a check verifies.

So, if you are one of the officials/politicians in a position to help please email us at Spotty@NYCHA-Spotlight.com or leave a voice-message/fax at 718-745-0170.
I'll have the woman contact your office.


(Ed note: Emphasis added)

Date: Friday, November 17, 2000 3:44 PM

To: nychaspotlight@netscape.net

Subject: I need your help

To whom it may concern,

My husband James ---- died April 26, 2000. Since his death I have been sending in all the papers to the NYCHA that they have requested along with at least 10 copies of the death certificates. It has been eight months and still nothing. Last Month Ms. Nancy True called me and told me she had no idea why it took so long, but not to worry, she would take care of it. I would have a pension check within the month.

I received nothing. I called Ed Cane (Local 237) yesterday. He said he had no idea why I have not received a check yet, either. The NYCHA sent my husband a paycheck for 08-20-2000 thru 09-02-2000. This paycheck could not be cashed since my husband has been dead since April 26, 2000.

When I called NYCHA payroll, they told me my husband Jim was not dead. They believed he was actually injured and receiving Worker's Compensation?

I am a diabetic, a single parent and I have a sixteen year old daughter. This mess is definitely affecting my health. The Teamsters Union has done nothing to help me in all this time. This "Brotherhood of Teamsters" is the pits! I hope other women who have husbands that belong to the Teamster's Union realize that they'll get no help from either the NYCHA or the Teamsters.

If I didn't have a job of my own, I would have lost my home by now. And the NYCHA and the Teamsters would have done nothing.

I've heard that one woman in Mahopac had to sell her home because it took so long for her to receive her check. I heard the same thing happened to another woman living in City Island, and one in the Bronx. Where are the union representatives? Remember ladies; check everything. Especially all your paper work. Because God forbid something happens to your husband. NYCHA and Teamsters local 237 will hang you out to dry!

Thank You, Helen ----

We goofed!

We received 2 email and one fax complaining that we had published a falsehood in Issue 67. That the Blatch case, the one that brought about the need for Guardianship in cases where NYCHA is trying to evict a mentally challenged individual, was NOT heard in 1999 as we wrote. Our critics were right: We were wrong!
The Blatch case began years earlier, and has now caused a Law Dept. review of terminations, as it looks at terminations (evictions) of mentally challenged individuals from 1995 forward.

We apologize for any confusion.

In an update to our last issue, we've now received documents that show Joanna Aniello was also working on this fiasco. I've placed the cover page of a JoAnna Aniello memo which shows that Joanna was involved in this mess also. (Click Here)

In other email, we were told that Nora Reissig-Lazzaro has recently been demoted from Deputy Director of the Operations Department to Deputy Director of Social Services, a unit that falls under the Operations Dept.

© MM Public Housing Spotlight and John Ballinger. All rights reserved.
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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

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