NYCHA elevator inspectors forced to fudge safety reports: whistleblowers

New York /
May.May 31, 2011 12:28 PM

Six whistle-blowing New York City Housing Authority elevator inspectors have come forward to say they’re being forced to fake reports and take safety shortcuts, according to the New York Daily News. Supervisors, the inspectors say, are obsessed with meeting daily quotas of six inspections per day and often order employees to move to the next job without shutting down dangerous elevators or waiting for a mechanic, as NYCHA rules dictate.

“I told them somebody’s wife could be riding on that elevator, somebody’s kid,” a veteran inspector said. “They didn’t want to hear it.” Another veteran said he was repeatedly told not to enter deficiencies into a hand-held computer that generates work orders.

Anthony DePompeis, a 15-year NYCHA employee inspector, was recently charged with failing to report unsafe elevators and threatening to kill his boss. At a recent hearing, DePompeis said the fight, which resulted in the threat, was over his refusal to fudge reports. “If alarms don’t work of the zone locks don’t work, they say ‘Let it go’,” he testified at the disciplinary trial. “Whenever I seen stop switches broken, I was asked to move on. Whenever I seen zone locks broken, I was asked to move on.”

These revelations come just less than three years after the death of 5-year old Jacob Neuman, who fell to his death, trying to squeeze out of a broken elevator at a Brooklyn housing complex. The fatality provoked various probes and NYCHA vowed to spend $107 million to replace 350 broken elevators and $5 million for new inspectors.

The number of inspectors responsible for 3,326 city elevators has remained unchanged since the incident. There are, however, 74 extra maintenance positions and NYCHA has begun working with private inspection companies.

NYCHA recently announced that it has only a small fraction of the funds— $1.5 billion of $7.5 billion– required to make necessary repairs in New York City public housing projects. [NYDN]


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
NYCHA Chairman Gregory Russ and NYCHA federal monitor Bart Schwartz. (NYCHA Monitor)
NYCHA overhauling management system
NYCHA overhauling management system
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos (Getty; iStock)
Amazon to put $2B into affordable housing
Amazon to put $2B into affordable housing
Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and Mayor Bill de Blasio (Getty)
De Blasio administration lands on worst landlord watchlist
De Blasio administration lands on worst landlord watchlist
City Council member Brad Lander and the Gowanus canal (Getty; City Council)
Gowanus rezoning community support hinges on NYCHA funding
Gowanus rezoning community support hinges on NYCHA funding
A view of the Wise Towers at 117 West 90th Street (Google Maps)
Tension rises as public housing gets private management
Tension rises as public housing gets private management
HUD's Lynne Patton and of Frederick Douglass Houses resident Claudia Perez (Getty; RNC)
NYCHA tenants say they were duped into RNC video appearance
NYCHA tenants say they were duped into RNC video appearance
NYCHA CEO Gregory Russ and NYCHA houses (Credit: Minneapolis Public Housing Authority, Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NYCHA tenants with zero income pay zero rent
NYCHA tenants with zero income pay zero rent
New York City Deputy Mayor of Housing and Economic Development Vicki Been and New York state Sen. Brad Hoylman (Credit: Been via NYU; Hoylman by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)
Chorus for moratorium on evictions grows louder in New York
Chorus for moratorium on evictions grows louder in New York
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...