Tish James says de Blasio’s NYCHA compliance appointment isn’t enough

Public Advocate says job already exists at NYCHA
November 27, 2017 09:00AM

From left: Letitia James and Shola Olaytoye

New York City Public Advocate Letitia James says Mayor Bill de Blasio’s move to appoint a chief compliance officer at the New York City Housing Authority is nothing more than “window dressing.”

James, who previously called for the ouster of NYCHA head Shola Olatoye over the lead paint scandal, said de Blasio’s move wouldn’t fix the problem, mostly because the agency already has a compliance officer.

“We need an independent monitor and a sweeping change in leadership” at NYCHA, she told the New York Post.

The city, which appointed former citywide administrative services head Edna Wells Handy to lead an “executive compliance department,” said Handy’s job would differ from the existing “director of internal audit.”

De Blasio has resisted calls to replace Olatoye, who admitted earlier this month that she knew NYCHA lied about conducting lead paint inspections for 55,000 low-income apartments. De Blasio himself admitted to knowing that inspections were not conducted.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a foe of de Blasio, is said to be considering appointing an independent monitor to oversee NYCHA.

In the November issue of the magazine, The Real Deal looked at how NYCHA taps the New York real estate industry for projects. [NYP]James Kleimann