The Real Deal New York

Letitia James calls on NYCHA head to resign over bogus lead-paint checks

Shola Olatoye allegedly signed off on inspections that never happened
November 17, 2017 09:30AM

From left: Letitia James and Shola Olaytoye

Public Advocate Letitia James is calling for the resignation of Housing Authority Chairwoman Shola Olatoye amid allegations that NYCHA lied about conducting lead paint inspections for 55,000 low-income apartments.

“After meeting w/ the NYCHA Chair today, it is clear that it is time for sweeping operational changes, independent monitoring, and transparency at the City’s Housing Authority,” James posted on her office Twitter account on Thursday. “Most importantly, it’s time for new leadership and a fresh start at NYCHA.”

Before the tweet, the New York Post reported that James would likely act against Olatoye.

In a report released on Tuesday, the Department of Investigation accused Olatoye of signing documents confirming that lead checks had been performed at 55,000 apartments, even though she knew that they hadn’t been done. Legal experts told the Post that Olatoye could face a federal false-statement charge, which carries a sentence of up to five years in prison.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has indicated that he’s considering appointing an independent monitor to oversee NYCHA.

In the November issue of the magazine, The Real Deal looked at how NYCHA relies heavily on the New York real estate industry. [NYP] — Kathryn Brenzel