70 NYCHA Superintendents Charged with Bribery by Attorney for the Southern District of New York; U.S. Rep. Ritchie Torres Responds

Feb 06, 2024
Press

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, in response to Manhattan U.S. Attorney Damian Williams’s announcement that federal charges are being brought on 70 NYCHA superintendents, which was described by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development as “the biggest single-day bribery takedown in Department of Justice history,” Congressman Ritchie Torres (NY-15) issued the following statement:

“Back in 2019, I was the first elected official to sound the alarm about NYCHA’s lack of oversight over micro contracts and small contracts. The high risk of corruption was glaringly obvious five years ago.

“I am pleased to see SDNY prosecuting those who accepted bribes in exchange for steering micro contracts and small contracts to preferred vendors.

“Bribery on the part of one or few could be explained away as outliers. But bribery on the part of 60 to 70 NYCHA employees points to a systemic failure of management and oversight at the New York City Housing Authority.

“I will repeat today the warning that I gave five years ago: ‘the deregulated world of micro contracting is a breeding ground for corruption and influence peddling. NYCHA’s process for administering micro contracts needs to be fundamentally rethought.’”

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