Seventy NYC Housing Authority workers are hauled away in cuffs after demanding more than $2MILLION in bribes from construction firms in massive ‘pay to play’ corruption scandal by taxpayer-funded officials tasked with improving social housing

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Written By Maya Cantina
  • The workers are expected to be charged in connection with a variety of alleged corruption and kickback schemes
  • Complaints against the employees accuse them of taking cash payments from contractors in exchange of NYCHA contracts

About 70 New York City housing Authority employees were arrested in a federal raid after they received over $2million in bribes in what officials called a ‘classic pay-to-play’ scheme. 

Dozens of employees and contractors were seen being taken away by federal agents in handcuffs after the raid on Tuesday morning. They are accused of using the housing system meant for the city’s poor to enrich themselves.

The workers are charged in connection with a variety of alleged corruption and kickback schemes, according to the Department of Justice, which has called the case the largest public corruption roundup in its history. 

The accused employees are charged with bribery and extortion after ‘accepting cash payments from contractors in exchange for awarding NYCHA contracts,’ the DoJ said in a statement.

The charges amount to a single-day record for bribery charges for the Department of Justice.

About 70 New York City housing Authority employees have been arrested in a federal raid

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said 1/3 of NYCHA developments were part of the bribery scheme

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said 1/3 of NYCHA developments were part of the bribery scheme 

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said one-third of NYCHA developments were part of the bribery scheme. from 2013 to 2023.

During the 10-year period, the accused officials allegedly took more than $2million in exchange for $13million in low-level contracts at over 100 developments.

The charges are linked to ‘micro-purchase’ projects for smaller repairs and other construction at city housing.

Local development managers can award city contracts under $10,000 without going through the public bidding process. 

The New York City Housing Authority is the country’s largest public housing organization.

The Southern District of New York said in a statement: ‘Today’s charges constitute the largest number of federal bribery charges on a single day in Department of Justice history.’

NYC’s Housing Authority has been faced with a series of issues in its aging properties –  175,000 apartments.

‘NYCHA has zero tolerance for wrongful and illegal activity,’ NYCHA Chief Executive Officer Lisa Bova-Hiatt said in a statement to The City.

‘The individuals allegedly involved in these acts put their greed first and violated the trust of our residents, their fellow NYCHA colleagues and all New Yorkers. These actions are counter to everything we stand for as public servants and will not be tolerated in any form.’

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