NEW YORK — Staffers at the New York City Housing Authority were accused of having sex party on company time and property.
An investigation found no evidence of orgies, but the Department of Investigation discovered instances of mismanagement, misuse of overtime, retaliatory behavior and on-the-job drinking. Their report was discussed at a city council meeting Thursday afternoon. DOI Commissioner Margaret Garnett was first to testify in the hearing.
“Our thorough and independent investigation refuted claims that Throggs Neck staff were having orgies on and off NYCHA premises,” Garnett said.
Councilmember Mark Treyger questioned how long it took NYCHA bosses to look into claims of misconduct at the Bronx development.
“It really rattles the confidence we have in NYCHA to follow up on complaints and take them seriously,” Treyger said.
Ritchie Torres, chair of the Oversight and Investigations Committee, also had problems with NYCHA.
“NYCHA has no system for tracking the destruction of property and no system for tracking the mismanagement of funds," he said. "It seems to me NYCHA and DOI dropped the ball when it comes to Throggs Neck.
Back in August, 45 workers were transferred to other developments and the NYCHA General Manager Vito Mustaciuolo says there have been systemic changes since then.
"Except for a few bad actors, NYCHA employees are overwhelming some of the most dedicated employees I have ever met in my time in public service,” he said.
The focus of one of the DOI reports was the alleged misconduct of Monique Hohnson, the tenant association president of the Throggs Neck Houses.
A DOI report says she “...for years inappropriately diverted NYCHA staff time and funding for tenant association purposes.”
Johnson denies the claims. She says her fear is that the investigation into her will prevent other tenant presidents from coming forward with problems inside their developments.
“I want to be here to look them in their face as they lie and also I want to stand and tell my truth,” Johnson said.