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Old 11-15-2017, 11:19 AM
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Default NYCHA boss hides behind NYPD ‘bodyguard’ after explosive report

https://nypost.com/2017/11/15/nycha-...losive-report/

NYCHA boss hides behind NYPD ‘bodyguard’ after explosive report
By Georgett Roberts, Michael Gartland and Bruce Golding
November 15, 2017 | 1:54pm


William Farrington


The city’s embattled Housing Authority chief showed up late for work Wednesday morning ​shielded by an NYPD ​officer — and refused to address ​serious ​allegations ​from investigators that ​she lied about conducting lead-paint inspections in thousands of low-income apartments.

The uniformed cop followed NYCHA Chairwoman Shola Olatoye into the office building at 250 Broadway, across from City Hall, around 10:30 a.m., and appeared to be serving as her bodyguard.​​

He used his torso to try to block The Post from snapping a photo in the lobby, then accompanied Olatoye as she walked to a nearby Italian eatery about 90 minutes later.

Olatoye was spotted chatting on her cell phone inside the Gran Morsi restaurant on Warren Street, while the cop paced back and forth on the sidewalk outside.

An NYPD spokesman declined to say why it was providing Olatoye with that level of protection​ on the taxpayer’s dime​.

Earlier, Olatoye ignored questions from The Post about Tuesday’s damning report from the city Department of Investigation, which revealed that she admittedly filed false paperwork with the feds last year.

Olaytoye instead smiled and said a NYCHA spokeswoman would be “happy to provide any statement that we’ve provided in the past, as well as answering further questions that you might have.”

“That’s the appropriate way to talk about this matter,” she added.

According to ​the ​DOI report, Olatoye — appointed by Mayor de Blasio on 2014 — falsely told the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development that annual lead-paint inspections had been performed in 55,000 NYCHA apartments.

Legal experts have told The Post that Olatoye could be charged with making a false statement to the government, with former federal Justice Department prosecutor Peter Katz saying she “made almost a full confession.”

Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Queens) called the allegations against Olatoye “appallingm saying that New Yorkers “need to have confidence that NYCHA is capable of performing the most basic of public safety functions.”

“Heads need to roll,” he said. “Somebody at NYCHA at the highest level is not performing the most basic function.”
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Old 11-16-2017, 08:44 AM
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Default Re: NYCHA boss hides behind NYPD ‘bodyguard’ after explosive report

https://nypost.com/2017/11/16/nycha-...r-lead-report/

NYCHA head doubles down on cop protection after lead report
By Mackenzie Lowry, Georgett Roberts and Max Jaeger
November 16, 2017 | 10:01am | Updated


Shola Olatoye leaves her home with NYPD standing guard early Thursday morning. David McGlynn


The under-fire chairwoman of the city’s Housing Authority doubled down on her police detail Thursday — and again ducked questions on allegations she lied about testing low-income apartments for lead paint.

Two uniformed cops and a marked police cruiser marked PSA5 — indicating it belongs to the command responsible for patrolling NYCHA housing in Harlem and East Harlem — were posted outside the Harlem apartment of NYCHA head Shola Olatoye by 8 a.m. Thursday morning — double the “lead shield” she had on Wednesday morning, when she showed up late to work following Tuesday’s bombshell allegations.

At 8:30 a.m., a black SUV pulled up, and the two Finest went inside Olatoye’s building, emerging moments later flanking the embattled housing head.

She scurried into the SUV, a Toyota Highlander, and the vehicle pulled away, while the apparent housing cops and cruiser remained behind for nearly two hours after she departed, finally pulling away at 10:15 a.m.

The officers were several blocks from the nearest housing development. Housing cops are “hugely critical because they know the complex like the back of their hands,” Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association president Pat Lynch has said.

Olatoye ignored questions about her role in the lead-testing scandal.

On Tuesday, the city’s Department of Investigation revealed that Olatoye put thousands of kids at risk of contracting lead poisoning by signing federal documents claiming NYCHA had conducted critical lead tests in 55,000 apartments — even though it had not.
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Old 11-16-2017, 06:53 PM
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Default Re: NYCHA boss hides behind NYPD ‘bodyguard’ after explosive report

https://nypost.com/2017/11/16/de-bla...oing-anywhere/

De Blasio: NYCHA chief ‘isn’t going anywhere’
By Bruce Golding
November 16, 2017 | 4:41pm


Bill de Blasio and Shola Olatoye
AP; William Farrington


Mayor Bill de Blasio stepped up his support Thursday for his embattled stick nigger Housing Authority chief — and blasted calls for her resignation as a politically motivated “cheap stunt.”

De Blasio, who is vacationing in Connecticut, tweeted that NYCHA Chairwoman Shola Olatoye “is turning NYCHA around and she isn’t going anywhere.”

“She didn’t create the agency’s shortcomings — she’s the one I trust to fix them,” he added.

“It’s a cheap stunt to call for her to step down, one that puts political ambition ahead of the urgent needs of NYCHA’s residents.”

Hizzoner’s remarks came about 30 minutes after The Post exclusively revealed that Public Advocate Tish James would publicly call for Olatoye’s resignation over a scandal involving potential lead-paint hazards in 55,000 NYCHA apartments.

James decided to act following a 90-minute meeting during which Olatoye, appointed by de Blasio in 2014, tried “throwing her staff under the bus,” according to a source familiar with the matter.

She later tweeted from her official Public Advocate account: “After meeting w/ the NYCHA Chair today, it is clear that it is time for sweeping operational changes, independent monitoring, and transparency at the City’s Housing Authority. Most importantly, it’s time for new leadership and a fresh start at NYCHA.”

Several other pols have also demanded new leadership at NYCHA since the Department of Investigation on Tuesday issued a damning report that revealed how Olatoye falsely told the feds the apartments had been inspected annually, as required by law.

City Councilman Rafael Salamanca Jr. (D-Bronx), who lived in public housing as a child, on Thursday morning called for called for Olatoye’s immediate ouster, saying her actions were “incompetent at best, negligent at worst.”

“While I personally have enjoyed my friendship with Chair Olatoye, I feel that I cannot stand aside any longer in calling out the problems at NYCHA,” he said.
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Old 11-16-2017, 07:01 PM
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Default Re: NYCHA boss hides behind NYPD ‘bodyguard’ after explosive report

https://nypost.com/2017/11/16/nycha-...paint-scandal/

NYCHA head facing call to resign over lead-paint scandal
By Michael Gartland and Bruce Golding
November 16, 2017 | 2:44pm | Updated


Leticia James and Shola Olatoye. Christopher Sadowski; William Farrington


Public Advocate Tish James on Thursday called for the resignation of embattled Housing Authority Chairwoman Shola Olatoye over NYCHA’s repeated failure to inspect 55,000 low-income apartments for lead-paint hazards.

In a message posted on her office’s Twitter account, James wrote: “After meeting w/ the NYCHA Chair today, it is clear that it is time for sweeping operational changes, independent monitoring, and transparency at the City’s Housing Authority.”

“Most importantly, it’s time for new leadership and a fresh start at NYCHA,” she added.

The tweet came about an hour after The Post exclusively revealed James would act against Olatoye, with a source familiar with the matter saying Olatoye had “tried throwing her staff under the bus” during their 90-minute discussion.

James requested the sit-down in her office following Tuesday’s release of a damning report by the Department of Investigation, which revealed Olatoye repeatedly filed paperwork with the feds that falsely claimed the lead checks had been performed.

Olatoye, appointed by Mayor de Blasio in 2014, signed one form last year despite admittedly knowing it wasn’t true, according to the DOI report.

Legal experts have told The Post she could face prosecution on a federal false-statement charge, which is punishable by up to five years in prison.
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Old 11-17-2017, 04:49 PM
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Default Re: NYCHA boss hides behind NYPD ‘bodyguard’ after explosive report

https://nypost.com/2017/11/17/nycha-...paint-scandal/

NYCHA head throws top aides ‘under the bus’ in lead-paint scandal
By Rich Calder and Bruce Golding

The embattled head of the city Housing Authority announced late Friday afternoon that the departure of two top aides and the punishment of a third amid a widening scandal over falsified lead-paint inspection reports.

Senior Vice President for Operations Brian Clarke and Technical Services Director Jay Krantz both resigned under fire, while Senior Vice President for Operations Luis Ponce was demoted and suspended without pay for 30 days.

NYCHA Chairwoman Shola Olatoye called the senior-staff shakeup “part of a systemic overhaul….to implement changes at every level of the Authority.”

On Thursday, a source familiar with the matter said Olatoye tried “throwing her staff under the bus” during a meeting with Public Advocate Letitia James, who later called for Olatoye to resign or be fired.

Mayor de Blasio, who appointed Olatoye in 2014, has vowed that she “isn’t going anywhere.”

NYCHA also announced Friday that it would create an “Executive Compliance Department” whose chief will report directly to Olatoye, and hire “leading experts” on lead safety.

The moves came after the city Department of Investigation on Tuesday recommended that an outside monitor oversee NYCHA’s lead-inspection efforts, following a probe that revealed Olatoye filed annual reports that falsely claimed 55,000 apartments had been inspected for lead-paint hazards.

The DOI said Olatoye admitted signing one form last year despite knowing it wasn’t true, which legal experts have said could lead to federal charges against her.
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Old 11-18-2017, 08:11 AM
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Default Re: NYCHA boss hides behind NYPD ‘bodyguard’ after explosive report

https://nypost.com/2017/11/17/legal-...axpayers-100m/

Legal bill for NYCHA flubs might cost taxpayers $100M
By Julia Marsh, Stephanie Pagones and Bruce Golding
November 17, 2017 | 10:46pm

The city Housing Authority’s widening lead-paint scandal could cost taxpayers more than $100 million, leading personal-injury lawyers told The Post on Friday.

Lawyer Robert Vilensky, who’s handled lead-poisoning cases for more than 25 years, said revelations by the Department of Investigation handed a wealth of evidence to plaintiffs in a pending class-action suit in Manhattan federal court.

The DOI found that NYCHA Chairwoman Shola Olatoye filed federal paperwork that falsely claimed 55,000 apartments had been tested annually for lead-paint hazards and signed one form last year even though she knew it wasn’t true.

“Federal court judges have immense power to fashion remedies. The court could significantly fine them for falsifying documents. Somebody could go to jail,” said Vilensky, who’s not involved in the suit filed last month.

If Manhattan federal Judge William Pauley orders court-monitored testing and lead abatement in contaminated apartments, the bill could easily reach $50 million, Vilensky said. In addition, suits against NYCHA on behalf of sick kids “could cost them $30 [million] to $40 million, possibly more,” he added.

Lawyer Reuven Frankel, another expert in lead-poisoning cases, said juries have awarded verdicts in the range of $1 million to $4 million per child, and “you have settlements north or south of that.”

“Multiply that by the number of kids you’re talking about — you’re talking about a lot of money,” he added.

The plaintiffs’ lawyer in the class-action case — Corey Stern, who’s also handling suits over the lead-tainted water in Flint, Mich. — pegged the total tab at $1 billion.

“I think $100 million is pretty low for what it’s going to cost the city,” Stern said. “I think the numbers of children affected has been grossly underestimated.”

NYCHA has claimed that only 17 of its apartments have been tied to kids with elevated levels of lead in their blood since 2010.

The class-action suit was filed by filed by two Brooklyn moms with lead-poisoned kids, one of whom lives in the Red Hook Houses — where court papers say NYCHA found lead paint in “an astonishing 93 percent of all apartments.”

Sherron Paige, said her son, Kyan Dickerson, 4, was diagnosed following a routine physical that found 12 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood, more than twice the 5 micrograms the federal government considers “elevated.”

Paige — who coincidentally works for NYCHA — suspects her son was poisoned as a result of a leaky pipe that created a hole in her apartment’s hallway that flaked off paint and dust that “he kept touching.”

“His speech is delayed and everything,” she said. “He has a problem concentrating . . . he can’t stay on task for a long period of time. He gets distracted so easily.”

NYCHA declined to comment.
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Old 01-04-2018, 11:02 AM
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Default Re: NYCHA boss hides behind NYPD ‘bodyguard’ after explosive report

https://nypost.com/2018/01/03/nycha-...t-scheme-suit/

NYCHA officials behind ‘nefarious’ lead paint scheme: suit
By Yoav Gonen
January 3, 2018 | 10:46pm | Updated


NYCHA Chairperson Shola Olatoye
Natan Dvir


City Housing Authority officials engaged in a “nefarious scheme” to exempt apartments from requirements that they be annually inspected for lead paint — even though they can’t confirm those units qualified for such a waiver, an amended lawsuit claims.

The federal class-action suit newly accuses NYCHA of obtaining federal and local waivers for thousands of apartments that were wrongly declared safe after they were inspected by uncertified workers.

The process allowed the cash-strapped agency to save money by “drastically” reducing the number of units that require annual inspections to fewer than 55,000, the suit claims.

“There are thousands of public housing residents that want proper inspections done of their homes,” said Corey Stern, the lawyer behind the lawsuit.

“The amended complaint evidences a plan and a coverup at the highest level of city government, and it goes all the way to the mayor’s office.”

The agency has already acknowledged it failed to conduct the annual inspections of 55,000 units, as required, from late 2012 to early 2016.

NYCHA officials said there were only 76,346 units built before 1978 — when lead was banned from paint — where lead paint hadn’t been ruled out.

They said 28,385 of those units have since been abated or tested negative for lead.
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