February 20, 2024

Biden’s DOJ Arrests Dozens of NYC Government Employees In Major Bribery Sting

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OPINION: This article could include commentary which displays the writer’s opinion.


Dozens of public housing staff in New York City are going through fees of bribery and extortion after the Justice Department made the only largest quantity of such arrests final week.

According to The New York Times, federal prosecutors in Manhattan have charged 70 present and former staff of the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) with accepting money bribes from contractors in alternate for Housing Authority contracts.

Prosecutors allege that the suspects accepted over $2 million in bribes from contractors in search of to safe contracts for almost 100 buildings below the Housing Authority throughout all 5 boroughs. The contracts amounted to over $13 million in work, with the suspects usually receiving kickbacks of 10% to twenty%, and generally extra, in keeping with prosecutors, the Times reported.

“This culture of corruption at NYCHA ends today,” Damian Williams, the U.S. lawyer for the Southern District of New York, stated throughout a press convention Tuesday morning, calling it a “classic pay to play” scheme.

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A good portion of the corruption throughout the Housing Authority pertained to smaller contracts, comparable to window or plumbing repairs, which initially went unnoticed. City contracts valued at lower than $10,000 may be awarded by native growth managers with out the necessity for public bidding, making them vulnerable to exploitation, the report stated.

Lisa Bova-Hiatt, NYCHA’s chief government, stated the suspects “put their greed first and violated the trust of our residents, their fellow NYCHA colleagues, and all New Yorkers.”

“We will not allow bad actors to disrupt or undermine our achievements,” she added.

Meanwhile, town’s Housing Authority, accountable for housing over half 1,000,000 New Yorkers throughout greater than 2,400 buildings, faces a myriad of different points.

Critics have denounced the company for sustaining growing old buildings tormented by points like rodent infestations, leaky pipes, and malfunctioning elevators. Additionally, the Housing Authority grapples with a backlog of a whole lot of hundreds of folks on its housing ready record. The properties presently require roughly $78 billion in repairs.

At the identical time, people are paying much less hire to the company than ever earlier than. In 2022, the Housing Authority collected a record-low 65% of the hire it charged.

As the biggest housing authority within the nation, the company receives over $1.5 billion in federal funding.

Mayor Eric Adams, a Democrat, has underscored the significance of reasonably priced housing, saying final fall an formidable objective of setting up 100,000 new properties to handle town’s extreme housing scarcity.

Earlier this month, a New York Supreme Court justice shut down felony fees filed by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg towards two individuals who purchased phony COVID-19 vaccination playing cards.

Bragg had charged two people, recognized solely by their initials, J.O. and R.V., in keeping with a New York Post report. They had been accused of buying faux vaccine playing cards from a stripper in New Jersey named Jasmine Clifford, allegedly in an try to bypass New York City’s vaccine mandate. The Manhattan DA chosen 16 people out of roughly 100 who had been believed to have obtained faux vaccine playing cards from the identical stripper, charging all of them with felony prison possession of a cast instrument.

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Out of the 16 people initially charged, 14 selected to plead responsible to lesser fees. However, J.O. and R.V. determined to hunt the dismissal of their circumstances. Bragg fought their efforts, resulting in the case being transferred to Lantry’s jurisdiction.

But Supreme Court Justice Brandon T. Lantry pushed again, noting that the Manhattan DA’s workplace below Bragg’s management has “routinely — nearly daily — move[s] to dismiss significantly more serious counts or entire indictments.”

“These motions submitted [by Bragg and his prosecutors] are made months or even years after the 45-day period has expired to dismiss … sexual assaults, drug sales, robbery, burglary, and other violent and non-violent serious felony offenses,” Lantry wrote.

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