Dozens of employees of the New York City Housing Authority were arrested this week in what Damian Willams, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of NY, described as one of the largest bribery take down’s in the history of the U.S. Justice Department.
Those arrested stand accused of accepting cash payments in exchange for awarding NYCHA contracts for a over a decade, the federal investigation spanning alleged criminal behavior that occurred between 2013 and 2023.
As the justice department prepares to prosecute more than 60 members of the NYCHA, U.S. Congressman and Rockland representative Mike Lawler (R) took a moment to tout legislation that he had proposed before the crackdown, which would add new tools for the inspection of the NYCHA. In an act of vindication, Lawler shared the following statement with the Rockland Times:
For years, I have railed against NYCHA for corruption, mismanagement of funds, and more, and, all of those concerns have come to a head,.With the arrests of over 60 NYCHA employees for their participation in an alleged pay-to-play scheme, it’s clear that the entire authority must be investigated to ensure this corruption doesn’t run deeper.”
“That’s exactly why I introduced the Accountability for NYCHA Act, H.R.6550, which would require the Inspector General of HUD to provide a report to Congress on NYCHA and their activities to ensure they are in compliance with prior federal agreements.
This is all the more critical at this moment, to help prevent additional public corruption from one of the most corrupt public authorities in America which oversees a multi-billion dollar budget.
“With hundreds of buildings and potentially tens of thousands of New York City residents being put at risk by the NYCHA employees who were arrested, it’s imperative we advance the Accountability for NYCHA Act expeditiously,” concluded Congressman Lawler.
“Tackling public corruption and ensuring NYCHA residents aren’t living in squalor should be a bipartisan effort supported by all of New York’s Congressional delegation.”