The Real Deal New York

Mayor appoints new compliance officer to NYCHA in wake of lead scandal

Edna Wells Handy will serve as agency’s chief compliance officer
November 21, 2017 10:45AM

Edna Wells Handy and Mayor Bill de Blasio (Credit: NYC.gov and Getty Images)

Changes are coming to the New York City Housing Authority in the wake of its lead inspection scandal.

Although Mayor Bill de Blasio has steadfastly remained behind NYCHA commissioner Shola Olatoye so far, he has also appointed Edna Wells Handy to be the agency’s new chief compliance officer, according to the Wall Street Journal. Handy currently works as legal counsel for New York Police Department Commissioner James O’Neill.

The Department of Investigation came out with a report last week which said that NYCHA falsely claimed it conducted lead-paint inspections on paperwork submitted to the federal government despite never actually doing the inspections. Since 2014, four children living in NYCHA buildings have had positive tests for elevated lead levels, and two lived in apartments that were supposed to be inspected but were not.

The mayor was first informed about the issue in March 2016, and de Blasio has expressed regret that the city did not publicize it sooner.

“In retrospect, I wish we had,” he said. [WSJ] Eddie Small