Irresponsible Development, Re-Segregation, CUPON, Skewed Zoning – Who is Funding Rockland’s Politicians?

Blatant anti-Semitism or Skewed Enforcement of Zoning Laws – Airmont, NY [video]

Clarkstown – What They Don’t Want You To Know

What Is Going On Along Hillside Avenue?

Zombie Houses, Headless Chickens, And Mikvahs!

CUPON Mahwah (Citizens United to Preserve Our Neighborhoods) To Address The Village of Airmont’s Elected Officials On This Situation At 7:00 pm On Monday, February 3rd, 251 Cherry Lane, Airmont NY 10901.

Picture this: a peaceful, wooded stretch of land that offers respite from suburbia; a mixed community that lives there in harmony; good neighbors who lend a hand when needed while raising their families; extensive woodlands that supports wild animals; clear streams crisscrossing the area draining into a wetland that supports a host of creatures.

Into this picture comes some who begin to harass the long-term residents, hoping to get them to move out. Illegal blockbusting tactics mean residents are bombarded with unsolicited offers to buy their properties. Unidentified strangers park and turn around in residents’ driveways; one reverses into a parked car; one knocks over a mailbox and drives away; a headless chicken appears in the driveway of a resident who makes it clear to those who make the “offers” he intends to stay put.

OK, it’s not a horse’s head in someone’s bed and maybe the chicken just lost its head on a stroll about the neighborhood, but the message appears to be clear. The chickens want you to leave. This situation should make a local government, were it not ‘chicken’, to take immediate corrective action, right? Aren’t there laws to stop this sort of thing?

Yes, there are—but when the laws are ignored and the local politicians lack the will to enforce them, the situation continues to deteriorate and eventually you end up with Zombie houses to destroy your property values.

This is a story of a municipality that has a contract with its citizens to protect their properties and their happiness by enforcing the laws that civil society has instituted. But it has chickened out on the terms of that civil contract.

Is this happening in your neighborhood? It’s happening right now on your doorstep! Soon you too can have a zombie house in your neighborhood if you accept the mantra that your anger and resentment is really just blatant anti-Semitism and that instead of protecting your rights you need to attend seminars to control your hatred and have your children re-educated about the need to accept zombieism.

Hillside Avenue is the latest victim of Rockland County’s long list of irresponsible development projects. In the video below Heather Federico of Mahwah CUPON discusses the actions of owners and developers and indicates that there has been little resistance from the county government in Rockland County, the Town of Ramapo or the Village of Airmont. Indeed true to form the town of Ramapo refuses to turn over documentation about its own perfidy while its $400,000 compensated police chief continues to lose control over policing in a huge swath of Rockland County.

In the video we see that on December 16, 2019 CUPON addressed the Airmont Board of Trustees to ask why no action has been taken to address the numerous violations of village code and complaints made to the police about properties owned by two developers that are named by CUPON Mahwah. It appears that prima facia evidence has been obtained many laws are being flouted.

Here are a few headlines:

2, Hillside Ave, Village of Airmont
The structure at this address has had no Certificate of Occupancy since 2017. The load-bearing walls are at risk of collapse. Yet it is being used on a regular basis as a house of gathering and a weekend retreat. There is no permanent resident at the address but someone is operating a farm there which includes 2 horses, several goats and chickens — all illegal without a permanent resident. Last summer, a carnival was set up under cover of night presumably to avoid drawing the attention of local authorities.

28 and 32 Hillside Ave, Village of Airmont
This was a beautiful farmhouse; the developers allegedly converted it illegally into a 3-4 story dwelling. In 2017, work stopped and the building now stands as a giant unfinished ‘box’ — in essence it is now an abandoned zombie house.

There is trash and debris around the property. This situation has been reported to the village and the health department several times, but no action has been taken.

A circular driveway was allegedly illegally installed for which the developer was issued a $64,000 ticket which was then dismissed on a technicality. The village of Airmont has not re-issued the ticket. The driveway is still there, being used improperly by school buses and construction traffic.

44 Hillside Ave, Village of Airmont
19 acres have been notably 100 percent tax-exempt for over 20 years; the village has not pursued the taxes that should be payable on this large plot of land.

77, 79 and 85 Hillside Ave, Town of Ramapo
At this location a very large development is proposed namely a mikvah (ritual bath) with 60 parking spaces, a caretaker’s home, a large structure to hold several baths and 53 showerheads. Clear-cutting of old-growth trees has begun.

98 and 100 Hillside Ave and 99 Oratam Rd, Village of Airmont:
Another very large development is proposed: a special needs school for 100 students, with at least 60 parking spaces and a large driveway to pick up and drop off students.
This location remains 100 percent tax-exempt after an application in 2013 for a school that never materialized.

In summary, Hillside Ave is in a residential neighborhood of one-acre plots with no commercial buildings. These large, commercial projects will completely alter the character of the neighborhood and negatively affect the health and safety of local residents. Hillside Ave is an RR-50 zoning with no other commercial businesses on the block. It has no water line, no sidewalks and has a one car bridge with a 3-ton weight limit and at capacity for the traffic it can handle.

On Monday evening, February 3, 2020 CUPON Mahwah will once again raise these issues to the Village of Airmont’s elected officials. The meeting will be held at 251 Cherry Lane, Airmont, NY 10901

To see the article on FB in its original format, click here.

 

The Rockland County, NY 5-Town’s Supervisor’s Meeting – [Video], Over-development, not Blanket anti-Semitism

Dear Readers:

Many of you have been reading incessantly about a rise in anti-Semitism, insensitive and/or hateful rhetoric, language, violence, etc. This issue has become a hot-bed topic in Rockland County, New York following the stabbings that occurred at a Rabbi’s home/shul on the 7th night of Chanukah.

Yesterday, January 23, 2020, the Supervisors of the 5 towns that comprise Rockland County, New York held a Supervisor’s meeting intended to be the first step in addressing the problems within Rockland County. The Supervisors addressed the attendees and then the attendees were broken out into about 15 groups, each marshaled by a moderator who then had 3 minutes to provide the findings to the entire audience. 

This blogger moderated groups 12, 13, 14 and 15 because they were short moderators.

We were asked to answer 2 questions (simplified here): 

  1. What are the 3 most prevalent problems within the County?

  2. What are some possible solutions?

Notably, anti-Semitism was not listed as the most eminent threat or significant problem in a majority of the groups. Rather, overdevelopment and unequal enforcement of zoning/land-use laws were deemed to be an overriding problem nearly uniformly throughout each group. That speaks volumes.

The most salient points expressed as problems were:

  1. Over-development (by far the first and most significant point)

  2. Unequal treatment within the many communities in all aspects of life: development, housing, education, services, governmental assistance, law enforcement and the enforcement of building and zoning codes

  3. Political corruption

  4. Discriminatory housing practices and segregation

  5. Education and ever increasing taxes

  6. Social Media and the lack of sensitivity, both from the English-speaking non-religious sites and those geared towards the religious community

A synthesis of the possible solutions is:

  1. Equal application of zoning and housing codes

  2. Equal treatment under the law

  3. Transparency by political and law enforcement officials

  4. A tempered approach to social media, greater sensitivity and a better use of language. Most groups did not think that government intervention in censorship was appropriate, rather they suggested that we need to better temper ourselves.

LostMessiah’s blogger can be seen from about 15:18 to 19:54 on the video.

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Imagine Israel if the Rabbinical Courts Decided Civil Matters… What an Iran it Would Be…

Rabbinical court officials tried to promote beneficial legislation in coalition talks

Despite regulations, the court’s legal advisor sends religious party leaders’ recommendations for legislation that would expand the rabbinical system’s powers, including allowing Jewish law to be used in civil cases, constructing new building to match that of Supreme Court

Senior officials in Israel’s rabbinical courts prepared a document suggesting legislation for ultra-Orthodox parties to use during coalition negotiations after the April 2019 elections.

The document, which goes against existing regulations on the separation of the rabbinical courts and the political echelon, was obtained by Ynet’s sister publication Yedioth Ahronoth.

L-R: United Torah Judaism leader Yaakov Litzman, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and National Union head Bezalel Smotrich (Photos: EPA and Yair Sagi)

L-R: United Torah Judaism leader Yaakov Litzman, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and National Union head Bezalel Smotrich (Photos: EPA and Yair Sagi)

It was sent out from the personal account of the rabbinical courts’ legal advisor Rabbi Shimon Yaacovi two weeks after the elections, in an email entitled “Clauses for the government’s basic guidelines.” It was sent to several members of the ultra-Orthodox parties’ negotiators as well as Bezalel Smotrich, the head of the National Union party.

The document contained suggested legislation that the ultra-Orthodox parties should demanded from the government during the coalition talks.

The most noteworthy item was proposed legislation that states that, “the rabbinical courts will have the authority to decide financial cases according to Jewish law, if all sides in the dispute agree.”

Similar legislative attempts meant to increase the power and scope of the rabbinical courts beyond divorce and conversion, have previously been stopped in the past by the Supreme Court.

Other items in the document dealt directly with employment conditions for rabbinical court staff, demanding they be equal to those of workers in the civil court system.

Yaacovi also recommends that the government commit to assigning a budget for a new rabbinical court building and the chief rabbinate that is of equal standard to the Supreme Court building.

The rabbincal court for the Jerusalem area (Photo: Gil Yohanan)

The rabbincal court for the Jerusalem area (Photo: Gil Yohanan)

The legal adviser also sought to increase his own jurisdiction, recommending that he be authorized to appear before the Supreme Court for any injunction involving rabbinical courts without receiving permission from the attorney general.

To continue reading, click here.

How to Stop Scammers – from the Eyes of the Orthodox – The Yeshiva World Analysis, Interesting Read

“Sadly, immoral individuals have often applied the following 5 step method to ripping off substantial funds from members of our community for years.
  1. Give a large donation to an institution with a wealthy donor base. Do so magnanimously and genuinely try to help out that institution – showing that it is dear to your heart.
  2. Come up with a false, but effective sounding business plan or investment strategy, and casually talk about it to wealthy individuals.
  3. Name drop big company names and or people that have signed on and show false paper work that “proves” the whole scam.
  4. Take investment money from others and, at the outset, pay a hefty return on profits. Do so from other moneys that you are receiving.
  5. Give a significant donation to the cause where a well-liked Rabbinic leader stands behind the institution and develop a relationship with him. You will need to use this relationship in order to attempt to influence him or others around him into helping defend you against those people who realize that you have stolen their money.  Articles in the Jewish media can be squashed.  This will also help you gain more people in which to obtain more money from.
The above, is not a cynical view of the world.  It is, unfortunately, a scenario that has been repeated numerous times.  It is more prevalent than it should be, in this author’s view, because people are almost entirely unaware of a Torah obligation that is incumbent upon all of us.”

PREVENTING PONZI SCHEMERS

Yes, there is a Torah obligation upon all of us to prevent the proliferation of Ponzi schemers and rip-offs within our community.  It is called the obligation to be “chas al mammon yisroel” – a fulfillment of the Torah Mitzvah of “v’ahavata larayacha kamocha.”

The Gemorah in Moed Katan 27b tells us that when Jews were burying their dead in the finest clothing, Rabban Gamliel HaZakain arose and declared that enough was enough. The rising pressures, the “keeping up with the Joneses” in how to dress the deceased was causing enormous economic pressure on the living. “It must stop,” declared the rabbi, and the tachrichim, burial shrouds, we now use became the norm.

To read the entire article click, here

One New York and the “un-” Fairness PAC – de Blasio’s Supporters, the Kingmakers and Hoteliers

PAC-MAN DE BLASIO GOBBLES UP DONATIONS FROM PEOPLE WITH CITY BUSINESS

Mayor Bill de Blasio is personally soliciting donations for his political action committee – reaping money from sources that include individuals seeking favorable treatment from his administration, an investigation by THE CITY found.

The revelations about de Blasio’s Fairness PAC – which he’s using, in part, to pay for travels exploring a presidential bid – followed the city Department of Investigation’s finding he broke city ethics rules in a previous fundraising campaign.

Mike Casca, a Fairness PAC spokesperson, confirmed the mayor is personally seeking donations for the group. Each donor’s name is run through the city’s database of entities doing business with City Hall, said Casca, adding the PAC won’t accept a check from anybody on the list.

But the so-called Doing Business database, which includes only top executives involved in certain transactions, is hardly complete.

A basic search of other databases – including the list of lobbyists – revealed multiple examples of donors who were pressing de Blasio’s team on active projects while writing checks to his PAC, THE CITY found.

Meanwhile, the mayor is working the phones.

His public schedule for August through December shows a total of 125 hours dedicated to fundraising phone calls. His “Call Time” included 38.5 hours in August, 25 hours in September and 38 hours in October. It’s unclear how much of this time was dedicated to Fairness PAC fundraising.

Casca said the “mayor voluntarily set out a strict standard” in declining donations from entities in the Doing Business database, and criticized the examples uncovered by THE CITY as overly broad.

But Betsy Gotbaum, executive director of the government reform group Citizens Union, said the mayor and his Fairness PAC need to be more vigilant in assessing potential donors.

“They should be extremely careful not to ask anybody – or to double-check to make sure people are not – doing business or trying to get business with the city,” said Gotbaum, a former city public advocate. “[The mayor] should not be asking them.”

Transparency Issues on Conflicts Guidance

A  DOI report filed in October concluded de Blasio had violated city conflict-of-interest rules by personally soliciting donations for his now-defunct non-profit Campaign for One New York from entities with business pending before the executive branch.

DOI found the mayor had twice been warned not to do that – and detailed his pursuit of checks from several developers who, at the time, were pursuing favorable treatment from City Hall.

With Campaign for One New York, the mayor released a letter he got from the city Conflicts of Interest Board spelling out the rules for his fundraising.

With Fairness PAC, the group’s lawyers sought unspecified “advice” from COIB, but Casca declined to provide details.

Casca said only that the PAC’s lawyers did not ask about fundraising because they believed that was covered by the state Joint Commission on Public Ethics and the Federal Election Commission. They “did seek other advice,” which he wouldn’t describe, and dubbed COIB’s guidance to the Fairness PAC as “privileged communications.”

THE CITY reported last week that Campaign for One New York is the subject of an ongoing Joint Commission on Public Ethics probe.

Questions on Vetting Process

A key finding of DOI’s report on de Blasio’s Campaign for One New York fundraising was the group’s failure to adequately check potential donors to see whether they had business with City Hall. In the first three months, during which de Blasio raised $1.37 million, DOI found there was no vetting process.

The vetting procedures for Fairness PAC, which raised $470,000 through the end of 2018, appear far from comprehensive.

THE CITY easily found multiple Fairness PAC donors who – at the same time they were writing checks for the mayor – had lobbyists on retainer pressing City Hall for agency approvals related to their projects, including zoning changes and tax breaks.

To continue reading click here.

Schemes, Dreams, Mayor de Blasio, Donations, Homelessness, Too Much Money in the Wrong Hands

Dear Reader:

The following article by Richard Steier from The Chief is being republished in full with permission of the author. 

LM  

 

Mayor Sidetracked By Schemes and Dreams

    Updated 

    deblas_liu

    HUCKLEBERRY FINN HE’S NOT: Mayor de Blasio may feel like he’s lighting out for the territory every time he spends a weekend on the presidential campaign trail, but his continuing to accept political contributions from those with ties to notorious developers bruises his image as a reformer and suggests he’s a machine pol in progressive garb. State Sen. John Liu, a 2013 mayoral rival, said Mr. de Blasio had sought abolition of an admissions test for specialized high schools because that was easier than improving education in black and Latino neighborhoods.

    Call me a cynic, but lately every time I hear Mayor de Blasio launch into his spiel about how there’s plenty of money in this city/country/world but “it’s just in the wrong hands,” I can’t help but think of the Podolsky brothers.

    That would be Stuart and Jay, the offspring of Zenek Podolsky. The father launched the family real-estate business with crude-but-chilling simplicity: during the mid-1980s he paid a gang to use intimidation and harassment tactics to clear out buildings under rent control and rent stabilization so he could jack up rents.

    When then-Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau announced seven indictments of unscrupulous landlords in the fall of 1984, including Stuart and Jay along with their father, he stated, “The planned alternative for tenants who refused to move called for the conspirators to bully, burglarize and menace those tenants and to ransack, burglarize and flood their residences.”

    Zenek Podolsky got off with a brief prison sentence, buying leniency by handing over three Upper West Side buildings to the Coalition for the Homeless and testifying against the former head of the Taxi and Limousine Commissioner, Jay Turoff, about a scheme involving the sale of electronic taxi meters.

    Kids Refined Methods

    Stuart and Jay Podolsky got off with virtually no jail time. Andrew Rice, who reported on the Podolsky brothers’ operations early this decade for New York Magazine, found that they stopped emptying buildings by moving drug addicts, prostitutes and strong-arm men into vacant apartments to make longtime tenants’ lives miserable in favor of operating buildings where half the units offered shelter for the homeless under city contracts.

    Ownership wasn’t in their names; they used shell companies that listed their lawyer’s name and that of Alan Lapes, who managed the properties for them. The New York Times, following up on a couple of Daily News articles, reported earlier this month that the city began contracting with the Podolsky companies for buildings for its cluster-site program for the homeless in 2001—the final year of Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s administration. Over a five-year period beginning in July 2013, the Department of Homeless Services paid those companies $189 million for use of cluster-site apartments and single-room occupancy buildings.

    Mr. Rice in late 2013—as Mayor Michael Bloomberg was wrapping up his third term in office—reported in New York magazine that the Podolsky brothers did little to correct their properties’ serious deficiencies, and took extra steps to cover their tracks by having their building managers use fake names when speaking to tenants or DHS employees.

    That would have seemed to be of interest to Bill de Blasio, who at the time the article was published was getting ready to succeed Mr. Bloomberg and had pledged to reform what he called the city’s “disastrous and broken homelessness policy.”

    His tenant-rights advocacy during his time as Public Advocate was burnished by the fact that his office annually published a list of the city’s worst landlords, adopting a tradition begun decades earlier by the late Jack Newfield as an investigative reporter for the Village Voice.

    Yet once he took office, the city continued doing business with the Podolsky brothers. Mr. Rice had been told by DHS employees that the Bloomberg administration worked with them because it needed beds and couldn’t be that choosy about the suppliers. The need grew dramatically once Mr. Bloomberg ended a policy of allowing the homeless to jump to the head of the line for Federal Section 8 housing vouchers, which Patrick Markee of the Coalition for the Homeless told New York was “literally the biggest policy mistake of the Bloomberg administration” and a major factor in the explosion of families who were homeless.

    Yet nothing really changed once Mr. de Blasio took office, other than his suddenly being the person forced to talk about the lack of progress in dealing with a “disastrous and broken homelessness policy.”

    Meet the ‘New Sheriff’

    And then on Jan. 10, during the same State of the City address in which he lamented that there was too much money in the hands of the wrong people, the Mayor signed an executive order establishing the Mayor’s Office to Protect Tenants.

    “The city’s worst landlords will have a new sheriff to fear,” he declared. “When a landlord tries to push out a tenant by making their home unlivable, a team of inspectors and law-enforcement agents will be on the ground in time to stop it. We’ll use every tool we have: we’ll fine the landlords, we’ll penalize the landlords. But if the fines and penalties don’t cut it, we will seize their buildings and we will put them in the hands of a community nonprofit that will treat tenants with the kind of respect that they deserve.”

    Ten days later, however, Michael Gartland reported in the Daily News that the city’s plan to convert 500 cluster-site apartments in Brooklyn and The Bronx into affordable housing hinged on acquiring 17 buildings “controlled by the notorious Podolsky family.”

    It stated that the Wall Street Journal had recently reported the brothers were under investigation for possible tax evasion.

    The story noted that the Mayor had returned a $4,950 political contribution from Alan Lapes—the property manager used by the Podolsky brothers—but kept more than $10,000 in contributions bundled through the late Robert Hess, who after serving as Mr. Bloomberg’s Homeless Services Commissioner had formed a non-profit, Housing Solutions USA, that was tied to the Podolsky’s.

    In response to the story, the Mayor announced that the deal was being placed on “pause.”

    Less than two months later, however, Mr. Gartland reported that the deal was nearing a conclusion. The biggest news was that the price-tag for the purchase of the 17 buildings, initially reported to be between $40 million and $60 million, had zoomed to $173 million, with the city financing the purchase and then having non-profit groups take over day-to-day management of the properties.

    $143M Wasn’t Enough

    Mr. Gartland quoted an anonymous city official who attributed the jump in sale price to the Law Department’s seeking an appraisal from Metropolitan Valuation Services of the value of the 17 buildings, which came in at $143.1 million.

    That jump in valuation wasn’t enough for the Podolsky brothers: they demanded $200 million. Rather than bring in another appraiser, as they were entitled to do to give them added leverage, city officials decided to virtually split the difference between the appraisal and the brothers’ demands. The deal has since been completed.

    The city could have sought to seize the properties under eminent domain, but Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks, who distinguished himself as a lawyer for the homeless before joining city government, noted that could produce a lengthy court fight that would tie up the properties at a time when DHS sorely needed the additional beds.

    Then The Times reported April 4 that the lawyer for the landlords in the discussions on the deal was Frank Carone, who also serves as counsel to the Brooklyn Democratic Party. Willie Neuman’s story stated that Mr. Carone and his wife had each made the maximum individual donation of $4,950 to Mr. de Blasio’s re-election campaign two years ago, and that the attorney had donated the maximum $5,000 to the Mayor’s Federal political-action committee, Fairness PAC, and helped solicit additional donors for the fund, which has covered the Mayor’s expenses in recent months for his travels to early-primary states as he considers a run for President.

    Both the Mayor and Mr. Carone denied having discussed the Podolsky brothers deal. Mr. Carone told The Times in a statement that “I am proud to say I regularly support people from Brooklyn. So it should be of no astonishment why I am supporting our Brooklyn Mayor as he explores a run for President.”

    Future Considerations?

    No doubt if asked, the two men would deny they have had any conversations about a possible future run for office by the Mayor’s wife, Chirlane.

    Then Mr. Gartland reported April 10 that Human Resources Administration Chief Contracting Officer Vincent Pullo a year ago demanded that a homeless-service provider in The Bronx sign an affidavit swearing that the nonprofit had no connection to the Podolsky brothers. Mr. Rice reported in New York more than five years ago that Housing Solutions had taken over contracts belonging to the nonprofit, Aguila Inc., and its CEO, Jenny Rivera, told The News April 8 that she was providing services to homeless families at Podolsky brothers properties and that the city knew this.

    She said she was forced to sign the notarized affidavit when the city jeopardized her ability to pay her workers by withholding a requested loan. She sent a letter to the Mayor late last month stating, “Under duress, I was coerced into signing this affidavit even though the city knows full well that Aguila manages multiple buildings owned by the Podolsky’s.”

    She received an April 8 response from Homeless Services Administrator Joslyn Carter calling the affidavits “standard representations of the relationship between the entities.”

    But Ms. Rivera showed Mr. Gartland correspondence she had last year with Mr. Pullo in which she sent him a signed lease for the Podolsky buildings and he responded with an e-mail requesting an affidavit asserting that Aguila “has no affiliation with” the Podolsky Family (any and all members)” or Mr. Lapes, their property manager.

    It seemed clear that the de Blasio administration was moving forward on the deal and wanted to have a document indicating that it was not doing business with the Podolsky brothers. There have been no reports of them having made political contributions to the Mayor or his PAC, but they have long been known for making business transactions in the maiden names of their wives.

    The level of desperation felt by the administration to secure properties that could be used for affordable housing could be seen in a New York Post report last Thursday that noted the Podolsky buildings had hundreds of unresolved Housing Code violations of the sort associated with the most troubled Housing Authority developments, from vermin to peeling lead paint to broken locks. Among just four of those buildings—three in The Bronx, one in Brooklyn—there were 188 open violations cited by the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, with 30 of those classified as “immediately hazardous.”

    The ‘Not the First’ Excuse

    It’s true that the city’s extensive dealings with the Podolsky brothers, despite what Mr. Morgenthau 35 years ago described as a kind of terror campaign against their tenants, dated back two Mayors.

    But a key component of Mr. de Blasio’s rationale for his first mayoral run in 2013 was that he would be more sensitive to the needs of the less-fortunate in the city, and less-solicitous of the wealthy, than both Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Bloomberg.

    That has been true for his most-prominent campaign issue, improper stop-and-frisks by police, although sharp scaling-back of abuses began during Mr. Bloomberg’s final two years in office even before a Federal Judge ruled that the NYPD had been conducting the program in a way that violated the U.S. Constitution.

    But the lead-paint contamination suffered by hundreds of children in Housing Authority apartments because of a four-year-plus stretch in which no inspections were conducted was treated by the Mayor as less a public-health concern than a political problem. He noted the Bloomberg administration didn’t do inspections in its final two years, and he kept HA Chair Shola Olatoye in her job even after it was revealed that she had lied to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2016 about inspections having been done. Even a subsequent lie before the City Council late in 2017 about the training given to the employees who eventually did the inspections did not prompt him to jettison her immediately; she hung on for two months after that misrepresentation came to light.

    Six months later, she became vice president of business development for Suffolk Construction, a Boston-based contractor seeking to expand operations in New York.

    It was an impressive landing for someone who had been tarnished both by the deteriorating conditions in some HA developments and her lies about efforts to correct them. Some of the mystery about her rebounding so well was dissipated when it was announced that a Boston fund-raiser for Mr. de Blasio’s PAC April 5 was being hosted by her boss, Suffolk CEO John Fish. Notwithstanding his claims that he’s a reformer, Mr. de Blasio has demonstrated more than a few times that the expressway to his good graces is paved with political contributions.

    Dubious Schools Crusade

     

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