Housing commissioner’s husband gets OK to invest in HR&A Advisors

Commissioner will have to recuse herself from all matters involving firm
June 28, 2017 11:30AM

Maria Torres-Springer

The city ethics board gave the thumbs up to City housing commissioner Maria Torres-Springer’s husband to invest in the real estate consultancy HR&A Advisors.

As part of the decision, Torres-Springer will have to recuse herself from any matter involving the firm, Politico reported. Her husband, Jamie Torres Springer (who doesn’t use a hyphen in his name), plans to acquire a stake in the firm worth more than $48,000.

The City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and the Housing Development Corporation will also need approval from the city’s Conflict of Interest Board if it chooses to hire the consultancy.

City Hall spokesperson Melissa Grace told Politico that the firm currently has no contracts with HPD and HDC. She said the agencies have had few dealings with HR&A Advisors in the past.

Still, HR&A Advisors has worked for several other city agencies, including the sustainability office, the Economic Development Corporation, the Housing Authority and the departments of city planning and transportation.

Deputy Mayor Tony Shorris, former City Planning head Carl Weisbrod and Shola Olatoye, head of the Housing Authority, all previously worked at the firm. [Politico] — Kathryn Brenzel