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Lawmakers grill NYCHA chairwoman over lead scandal

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NEW YORK -

Lawmakers grilled NYCHA Chairwoman Shola Olatoye at City Hall Tuesday in a hearing on her agency's failure to complete lead inspections in apartments across the Big Apple.

"You can be held responsible for your failure to inform the general public about the failure of your agency to comply with local and federal laws on lead safety," Councilman Ritchie Torres noted. "How long did you go without telling the general public the truth about your compliance?"

According to the City Council's Public Housing Committee, NYCHA waited 20 months before coming forward.

For her part, Olatoye said she wished she handled the issue with more transparency.

"My regret is that I didn't tell the public more sooner," she said.

The chairwoman is on the hot seat after a federal investigation found that NYCHA falsely claimed it had completed thousands of mandatory lead inspections during a four-year span -- when in reality they never happened.

Furthermore, investigators found that some NYCHA inspectors were improperly trained.

The housing authority now faces the prospect of oversight from a federal independent monitor.

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