Report: NYCHA lied about lead paint inspectionsPosted: Updated:
Local leaders are speaking out following a report by the Department of Investigation that claims NYCHA lied about performing lead paint inspections and misled federal authorities.
NYCHA has more than 58,000 apartments in Brooklyn, all of which are at the center of these revelations. The report alleges NYCHA signed off on documents saying its apartments had been properly examined and inspected for lead-related dangers, when the inspections had been bypassed. The report also claims NYCHA Chairwoman Sola Olatoye knew about it before signing the paperwork.
Local leaders are speaking out against the housing authority.
"NYCHA should be honest with the public about the resource constraints that it faces and ask the city and ask the state for more funding - do not lie to us," Bronx Councilman Ritchie Torres says. "Do not lie to the federal government, do not lie to the Department of Investigations, do not lie to your own residents. There's no evidence of widespread lead paint exposure, but there is evidence that NYCHA lied under oath to the federal government and by extension, to the rest of us. And so the only hope for restoring confidence among the residents is an independent monitor."
Torres did say that he does not agree with calls for Olatoye's resignation.
"I know a number of people have been calling for the resignation of the chairperson Shola Olatoye," Torres says. "I respectfully disagree with those calls, because calling for the chairperson's resignation strikes me as premature and it misses the larger issue. The larger issue is a collapse of credibility. That will not be solved by the resignation of one person, and can only be solved by the appointment of an independent monitor. Who's going to report honestly about the reality of led pain inspections to the general public."
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is said to be considering an independent monitor to oversee the city's public housing department.
Public advocate Letitia James is calling for NYCHA's chairwoman to step down following these allegations. But Mayor Bill de Blasio is not giving in.
While vacationing in Connecticut this week, the mayor took to Twitter to share his support for Chairwoman Olatoye. He says Olatoye did not create the problems but she is the one he trusts to fix them.
According to the Department of Investigation report, the lies Olatoye allegedly told are punishable to up to five years in prison.