There are more than a hundred NYCHA public housing complexes represented by red dots on the map, meaning 75% of the 335 are riddled with corruption, said the United States Attorney for the Southern District.
Prosecutors also announced that they arrested 70 former employees and current ‘janitors’ or ‘supers’ of NYCHA housing complexes and their assistants, as well as contractors and those facing federal bribery and extortion charges.
“Those arrested are said to have collected more than $2 million in bribes from contractors in exchange for contracts totaling more than $13 million, but this culture of corruption will end now,” said prosecutor Damian Williams.
Based on the year-long investigation, they all demanded bribes from contractors to give them work on the apartments, whether it was proofing, repairing the wall, replacing the stove, draining the water, etc., as needed.
“Instead of acting in the interests of NYCHA residents, the City of New York, or taxpayers, the 70 defendants charged today allegedly used their jobs at NYCHA to line their own pockets,” the letter said. federal prosecutor in a post on social media. the lawsuits against 70 current and former NYCHA employees.
In another message, the prosecutor said, “This action is the largest single-day crackdown on bribery in the history of the Department of Justice. NYCHA residents deserve better.”
“The superintendent can award these contracts, which are affordable contracts of less than $100,000, without having to go to any kind of auction,” said Iván Arbelo, special agent of the Department of Homeland Security. “And they asked the contractor to give them the contract; they told the contractor to give me software. In other words, the contractor is obligated to pay to receive the service, and that is where the violation comes.
According to authorities, this corrupt bribery began in 2013 and lasted until 2023. They indicated that contractors who refused to pay bribes were fired and not rehired for refusing to pay.
Evaristo Rosario Terrero says that the victims are also them, the residents of NYCHA.
“Let them clean it up and let the 70 serve as an example for those behind who have not fallen and taken money from behind, and indeed, those 70 should be given an exemplary punishment so that the money that they stole can be recovered. helped more to solve the problems here; we have many problems and they are not solved,” said Terrero.
“I say that doing evil is not right because sooner or later the evil, if it is theft, will be discovered. Always do good so that good can stand and give a good example,” said Anny Rodríguez.
Authorities are asking contractors to report these practices, as no NYCHA employee should ask for a cent for any work.