Wednesday, January 28, 2015

DOI Conflict of Interests Board 9999

An Indifferent Mayor A Damming DOI Report and An incompetent ACS 

ACS Worker Case Load Goes Up As de Blasio Assures Press It is Going Down
Child welfare cases in city climb nearly 20 percent: report (NYP) Despite coming under intense scrutiny, average caseloads at the city’s child welfare agency have climbed by 19 percent through the first half of the fiscal year, new city data shows.  The surge — to 11.0 cases per child protective worker compared to 9.2 per worker over the same period in 2015 — comes even as Mayor de Blasio insists that caseloads have declined with the infusion of more than $100 million for the agency.  “We’ve worked to reduce caseloads over the years,” de Blasio said as recently as Dec. 20. “Some of that started in the previous administration, we’ve deepened that.”  n fact, average caseloads at the Administration for Children’s Services have gone up every year under de Blasio, from 8.2 in fiscal year 2013 — including former Mayor Bloomberg’s last six months in office — to 10.6 in fiscal 2016, according to the 2016 Mayor’s Management Report. * ACS workers sue over demotions after Zymere Perkins’ death (NYP) 
* De Blasio, who is under heavy fire over everything from a federal corruption probe to his beleaguered child-welfare agency, shutdown a press availability rather than answer questions about his upcoming meeting with U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, the Post writes.

Another ACS Failure Rule A Homicide 
Abused toddler’s death ruled a homicide (NYP) The death of 3-year-old Jaden Jordan — the Brooklyn tot at the center of the city’s disturbing child welfare agency probe — has been officially ruled a homicide.  The Medical Examiner’s office completed its investigation on Thursday and told The Post that the boy had died of abusive head and neck trauma.  “The manner of death is homicide,” a spokesperson said.  After Jaden was beaten into a coma, his mom’s boyfriend, Salvatore Lucchesse, was charged with assault and endangering the welfare of a child –but he is now facing murder charges following the ME’s ruling. Last week, a Department of Investigation report revealed numerous mistakes in Jaden’s ACS investigation, which was launched after the agency received a tip saying he was being abused. According to the DOI findings, child welfare workers weren’t able to track down his Gravesend address until two days after they were first alerted to the alleged abuse.  “ACS did not find Jaden before he was allegedly beaten into a coma on Monday, November 28, 2016,” the DOI report said.

How long can de Blasio stay silent on the deadly mess at ACS? (NYP)  Incredibly, the mayor wasn’t asked a single question about ACS — and Thursday’s blistering Department of Investigation report on the agency’s gross mismanagement — during his weekly radio appearance Friday.  And de Blasio wasn’t volunteering any information, either. Then again, he can no longer write off damning reports as The Post creating “fake news,” not with his own DOI showing how ACS, rife with “high-level, systemic problems,” has failed miserably when it comes to protecting at-risk children.  We understand that the mayor has no answers. All the more reason why he should be facing a constant barrage of questions. * How long can de Blasio stay silent on the deadly mess at ACS? (NYP) * De Blasio promises embattled ACS head will be gone in a week (NYP) * Mayor de Blasio keeps closing his eyes to dying kids (NYP Ed) It took a public tongue-lashing from a GOP lawmaker to finally force Mayor de Blasio to oust Gladys Carrion — who “retired” six weeks ago — from the city’s Administration for Children’s Services. Yet even then, the mayor’s still not admitting ACS is a disaster.  Under blistering questioning Monday from state Sen. Catharine Young (R-Olean), de Blasio disclosed that Carrion would be gone by week’s end — though a permanent replacement is still at least a month away.  As we noted when de Blasio named her to head ACS back in 2013, her immediate previous claim to fame was throwing a sex party for inmates at the juvenile-detention facility she ran.  The mayor didn’t care then, and plainly doesn’t care now. To the contrary: After Young asked him why the state should keep funding ACS, he once again refused to accept that the agency has any problems, blaming it all on “the media.”  His head is still stuck deep in the sand, though critics have been blasting ACS for years — and his own Department of Investigation just pointed to “high-level, systemic problems” that “go to the heart of ACS’s core mission of protecting children.”  No, insists Mayor See-No-Evil, it’s all “a fact pattern that does not exist” and “is not fair” — since the deaths on his watch represent only a small number of ACS cases. But as Young rightly noted, the facts are the facts — and they all point to a city that can’t protect its at-risk children. At least the state monitor is now in place: A team from the highly regarded Kroll Associates, headed by former state Inspector General Joe Spinelli, will serve as a third-party overseer of ACS. Let’s all hope this will help de Blasio finally face reality. Because the only number that counts is how many children are dying needlessly — not how many aren’t.

de Blasio Press is Overblowing City's Child Deaths
De Blasio whines press is overblowing city’s child deaths (NYP) “The facts are not being represented fairly by the media,’’ he insisted as legislators put his feet to the fire over his child-welfare agency’s recent slew of debacles.  “In too many cases, the media are suggesting a fact pattern that does not exist . . . and a picture is painted for the public that is not fair,” the mayor griped amid threats from lawmakers to siphon state funding from the city’s beleaguered Administration for Children’s Services.* Mayor de Blasio keeps closing his eyes to dying kids (NYP)

@NYCMayor blames courts for rejecting ACS attempts to remove some children from their home regarding recent child deaths
In the face of harsh questioning over the city’s ability to protect children from abuse and neglect, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio told state lawmakers that Administration for Children’s Services commissioner Gladys Carrion would be out by the end of the week. (She announced her resignation six weeks ago).

This mayor has claimed he has a moral obligation to shut down the horse-carriage industry. Then again, at-risk kids don’t vote, hire lobbyists or make campaign donations. Is that why de Blasio doesn’t care?  With children dying day after day, the mayor’s inaction is pretty bone-chilling all in itself.
Old ACS Commissioner Still in Charge - Even Help Pick Replacement
Resigned ACS head still in charge — and helping pick replacement (NYP)  The head of the city’s child-welfare agency announced her resignation more than six weeks ago after her caseworkers botched two kid-death cases.  But not only is she still in charge, Mayor de Blasio is giving her a role in finding her own replacement to lead the Administration for Children’s Services, sources told The Post on Friday.  ACS Commissioner Gladys Carrion is heavily involved in the transition process, which has included interviews with candidates from around the country, the sources said.  She was allowed to resign on Dec. 12 rather than get fired amid a series of high-profile deaths and scathing reports on the agency’s mishandling of cases. She said resigning was the best thing to do for her “well-being.”

De Blasio continues brush off evidence of ACS incompetence (NYP) de Blasio on Wednesday brushed off evidence of rampant abuse in the home of dead 5-year-old Mikey Guzman as he defended his beleaguered Administration for Children’s Services.  And just a day later, Hizzoner was stone silent as the Department of Investigation eviscerated the ACS for its systemic failures leading up to the death of another child, Jaden Jordan, in Brooklyn.  “DOI’s investigation found that the depth of errors over a two-day period was so significant, and the errors involved the overall implementation of policies so basic, that they go to the heart of ACS’s core mission of protecting children and implicate high-level, systemic problems,” a summary of the report reads.  The DOI is investigating the deaths of more than a half-dozen children who were known to the ACS, including Zymere Perkins, a 6-year-old Harlem boy who was bludgeoned to death with a broomstick in September, and Michael “Mikey” Guzman, who was found dead on Sunday. On Thursday, Hizzoner did not release any public statements about Jaden Jordan, nor did he mention him in two media interviews spent railing about President Trump. De Blasio has routinely deflected criticism of ACS. In December, he allowed Commissioner Gladys Carrion to submit her resignation a week after Jaden’s death rather than fire her for mishandling the case. Deadly neglect at the Administration for Children'sServices (NYDN Ed)

She remains in charge of the agency as a replacement is sought. ACS said the anonymous tipster gave out an incorrect address for Jaden so its investigators couldn’t find the family. But the DOI probe found that caseworkers actually had access to databases with thes information and could have located him sooner.  A major problem is that workers in the agency’s emergency children’s services unit — which handles cases during nights, weekends and holidays — aren’t adequately trained in how to use the databases.  “DOI found there was inadequate staffing, case practice, supervision and training within the unit,” the report states.  “In addition, DOI determined that the ECS unit is governed by policies that are inconsistent, confusing and contradictory.” ECS staffers told city investigations they couldn’t remember the last time they’d been trained, and supervisors complained about not having enough time to review cases. These issues are particularly problematic because of the “high volume of investigations, 70 percent of which are high-priority” that ACS receives on nights, weekends and holidays, city investigators said.  “DOI found that poorly trained staff and inadequate staffing in a unit that receives a high proportion of critical cases is a systemic problem,” the report said.* Why is the mayor so indifferent to the deaths of at-risk kids? (NYP) Thursday’s report from the city Department of Investigation will set your blood boiling — unless you’re Mayor de Blasio, who remains indifferent to the deadly mismanagement that plagues his Administration for Children’s Services.  DOI’s probe into the death of little Jaden Jordan exposes ACS as “woefully unprepared” to handle emergency cases that don’t happen during the regular workday.  As if child abusers take the evenings off.  An ACS weekend unit failed to act on a tip alleging abuse because it couldn’t access the agency database to get an accurate address; 3-year-old Jaden turned up dead before the 9-to-5 team could get on the case.  The off-hours Emergency Children’s Services unit suffers from “inadequate staffing, case practice, supervision and training” and “is governed by policies that are inconsistent, confusing and contradictory.”

Another Child Failed By ACS Dies Where Are the Elected Officials Demanding Change? 

Child Welfare Unit Tied to Toddler’s Death Is Understaffed and Poorly Trained, Report Says (NYT)  Agency workers who took two days to find a Brooklyn boy who later died were inadequately trained in how to search a database for the toddler’s correct address.

How many kids must die before de Blasio starts fixing ACS? (NYP Ed)  Mayor de Blasio insists the tragedy of little Mikey Guzman may not involve any failures by the city Administration for Children’s Services. In other words, his first instinct is still to deflect any responsibility for anything that goes wrong on his watch. But what is he doing to fix ACS? The agency is in a holding pattern, even after the horrific deaths of Zymere Perkins, 6, and Jaden Jordan, 3. ACS Commissioner Glayds Carríon “retired” last year — but is still on the job: De Blasio hasn’t replaced her.  The state ordered the city to accept an independent monitor over ACS, but City Hall only just finalized negotiations with Albany on how the monitor will answer to the state Office of Children and Family Services. ACS has yet to act on the problems flagged by city Comptroller Scott Stringer. Instead, the mayor accused Stringer of colluding with The Post to create “fake news.”

How ACS failed to save this 5-year-old boy from a house of horrors (NYP) Little Mikey Guzman lived in a Queens house of horrors where child-welfare workers had found cuts, welts and bruises on some of his siblings, as well as signs of sexual abuse, before the 5-year-old was discovered dead, law-enforcement sources told The Post on Tuesday.  The city Administration for Children’s Services had investigated the family 13 times, and substantiated abuse or neglect in eight instances, yet never took any of the six children away, the sources said.  “The problem with ACS is their motto is, ‘Keep the families together’ — they would have kept the Manson family together,” a disgusted source said.  “How many chances do you want to give these parents, especially when these kids are defenseless victims? The city Department of Investigation announced Tuesday it is probing ACS’s handling of Michael “Mikey’’ Guzman’s case.  His death follows a slew of high-profile child-abuse cases involving kids whose families had past involvement with the beleaguered agency. Recent abuse deaths of 6-year-old Zymere Perkins and 3-year-old Jaden Jordan.

The 13 ACS cases opened against the family — and involving Mikey’s siblings Jennifer Acevedo, 15; Jazabella Acevedo, 12; Maylee Acevedo, 11; Manny Prince, 9; and Mathias Guzman, 2 — occurred between October 2008 and January 2016. * New bill would limit child-welfare workers to 15 cases a month (NYP)  Child-welfare workers would be legally limited to 15 cases a month, while the young kids of drug suspects would have to undergo hair-follicle testing, under two bills passed by the state Senate on Tuesday.  Brooklyn Sen. Marty Golden cited the weekend death of little Michael Guzman in Queens as he pushed the bill calling for a legislated state limit on child-welfare workers’ case loads.  “Without a doubt, this legislation will keep our children safer and save lives,’’ Golden said in astatement.  The bill had passed both houses of the legislature last year only to be vetoed by Gov. Cuomo in December, according to the press release.  The state Office of Children and Family Services currently recommends no more than 12 cases per child-welfare worker, the release said.  But the average case load has been known to soar to more than 25 in some counties in the state, the bill’s backers said — and 14 percent of New York City workers carried more than 15 as of June 2016, according to a report by the city’s Independent Budget Office.* City probing death of 5-year-old Queens boy whose family hadbeen visited by caseworkers more than a dozen times: (DNAINFO)
More on Child Abuse ACS

The Conflict of Interest Board Which OK deB Campaign for 1NY Slush Fund Under Fed Investigation OKs City Vehicles for Mayor's Personal Trips
De Blasio leaves taxpayers on the hook for personal trips (NYP) de Blasio is the city’s only top elected New York official who has declined to reimburse taxpayers for his personal and political use of city vehicles — including an NYPD-helicopter trip to last month’s presidential debate on Long Island, The Post has learned.  While city rules don’t require reimbursement, city Comptroller Scott Stringer has contributed $1,702.02 from his campaign fund and personal piggy bank to cover the cost of using his government SUV on noncity business since taking ­office in January 2014, his office said.  Similarly, Public Advocate Letitia James has refunded $3,912.82 to  taxpayers, while City Council Speaker Melissa Mark- ­Viverito has given back $4,274.13.  This week, Hizzoner pointed to a 2009 Conflicts of Interest Board opinion that said city officials who are required to have around-the-clock security details aren’t required to cough up funds to cover the personal or political use of their official cars. His team said the ruling applies to helicopters as well — even though there’s no specific mention of them in the advisory.

Interlocking-Directorates of the Campaign for 1NY PAC Call for An Investigation 
  1. The mayor appoints 50% of the Campaign Finance Board
  2. The Council Speaker appoints 50% of the Campaign Finance Board
  3. Team de Blasio elected Mark- Viverito Speaker
  4. The mayor appoints 50% of the Conflict of Interests Board
  5. The Council Speaker appoints 
More on Dark Pool Corrupt Consultant Who Will Have to Register As Lobbyists


Did the Conflict of Interest Board and Campaign Finance Board Both Picked by the Mayor and Speaker, Protect Criminal Activity PACs Like Campaign for One NY?
A mayoral spokesman said in a statement on Tuesday that when the nonprofit was formed, in late 2013, the administration sought guidance from the city’s Conflict of Interest Board on the “appropriate management and solicitation of funds, consistent with applicable conflicts of interest laws,” and that the mayor’s office “consistently followed that guidance throughout” the group’s existence. 
Former mayoral hopeful gets heated over campaign finances (NYP)  Former mayoral candidate Sal Albanese got into a shouting match Thursday with a member of the Campaign Finance Board while appealing a $10,000 fine for loaning his own 2013 campaign money that was never repaid. The Brooklyn Democrat forgave the $155,000 loan, which the board classified as a contribution that exceeded the $14,850 individual limit.  “I didn’t violate the spirit of the law. I’m actually a victim of what’s become an inflexible bureaucracy that exists in a vacuum,” he said. Clearly angry over those remarks, board member Richard Davis noted Albanese signed a sworn statement promising not to break campaign finance laws. “Do you think it’s meaningless that you signed a sworn statement that you wouldn’t do what you’ve done? Do you think that doesn’t count?” Davis asked. “Your kind of comment I find offensive and erroneous and not consistent with the facts.” The board adjourned the case until its next meeting Sept. 24.

A Tale of Two Conflict Of Interests Board Ruling: Fire Sanitation Worker for $10 Gift, Allow CCRB Head's Law Firm to Handle Cases Before the CCRB
Money matters,Richard: CCRB chair Emery needs to distance himself from his firm'spolice-misconduct cases (NYDN) Regardless, conflicts board chief Richard Briffault meowed that de Blasio could appoint Emery provided that he close his eyes, muffle his ears and zip his lip about any case that involved both his firm and the CCRB. Although Briffault’s board makes sport of driving sanitation workers out of their jobs for accepting $10 gifts, the panel blessed Emery’s ability to share in handsome revenue from suits for cop misconduct, even if the CCRB had substantiated the allegations in the suits. Highhandedly defending his law firm’s business, Emery responded Wednesday to police union calls for a cop boycott of the CCRB by saying in a Daily News interview: “I’m not going to deprive the public and the people who are abused by police officers of having access to excellent lawyers because some union is squealing like a stuck pig.”Using the term “pig,” even inartfully, in relation to cops when you play the role of punishing police misconduct is close to a fireable offense. Gov. Cuomo said as much Thursday. Emery then acknowledged “a poor choice of words,” yet could not resist qualifying an apology with the phrase “to the extent that anyone was offended.” De Blasio was more forthright in calling Emery’s statement insensitive and inappropriate. More important — and left unaddressed by de Blasio — Emery was equally grudging in saying that his firm would no longer take a case involving a cop if Emery personally had rendered judgment on the cop at the CCRB. But Emery will share in revenue from suits that involve cops whose cases were handled by other CCRB members. As long as Emery stays on that pad, cops, already very distrustful, will have more reasons for believing they won’t get a fair shake. * ANOTHER CCRB member found to have ties to law firm with clients alleging police abuse (NYDN) A second high-ranking official with the Civilian Complaint Review Board has a cozy relationship with a law firm that has clients who have alleged abuse at the hands of police, the Daily News has learned. Executive Director Mina Malik is married to Derek Sells, a prominent civil rights lawyer and managing partner at the Cochran Firm. The power couple recently sat next to each other at a New York Law School symposium about the NYPD’s use-of-force rules.* Cuomo puts CCRB head on blast after anti-cop attack(NYP)  Cop-hating CCRB chief must go (NYP Ed) *  CCRB chairman apologizes for NYPD union 'pigs' remark (NYDN) * The credibility of the Civilian Complaint Review Board has been eroded thanks to the self-righteousness of the mayor and the board’s chairman, Richard Emery, who must leave his law firm, which wages suits that allege police misconduct, the Daily News writes: *  
@unitedNYblogs conflict of interest board is now a joke! They approved a trip 4 DEB paid 4 by a businessman

de Blasio's Conflict of Interest Board and CFB Which He Appoints Has Enabled The Pay to Play Lobbyist Shadow Govt in NYC
That’s because the city’s mayorally appointed Conflict of Interest Board has handed Emery Celli Brinkerhoff Abady an ethics pass: It’s OK to take (Emery-certified) CCRB cases because Emery says he’ll recuse himself in each and every one. Or something. This is unserious on its face. For one thing, it makes no difference which lawyers litigate a particular case, because a law firm’s profits go into a single pot. For another, it’s the name on the shingle that makes the rain, and Emery’s stands out.
This is the same conflicts board that:

  •  Last month slapped City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito’s hand — reducing a potential $25,000 fine for improper use of campaign consultants to $7,000. (Mark-Viverito promised not to do it again.)
  •  Has studiously avoided any involvement in the endlessly fascinating Central Park carriage-horse melodrama. It’s all about campaign donations — de Blasio’s obsession with the subject brings to mind the old saw about the honest politician being the one who stays bought — and this clearly is COIB turf. (Not that it will bite.)
  •  Ignored a $350,000 teachers-union donation to de Blasio’s Super-PAC the same month that the mayor laid a $9 billion contract settlement on the — what else? — teachers union. (Hey, if you want to play, you gotta pay, right?)
  •  Came down like thunder on two city sanitation workers for taking $10 “bribes” — fining each $2,000 and forcing one to retire. (Really, a board has to flex its muscles every now and then; it’s a matter of self-respect.)

Daily News Also Tells DOI's Peters to Remove Himself From the Investigation
The Mark Petersprinciple: The city's investigations chief, former de Blasio campaigntreasurer, won't recuse himself from a fundraising investigation. Bad move. (NYDN Ed)  Mark Peters, commissioner of the New York City Department of Investigation, in charge of ensuring the integrity of city employees up to and including Mayor de Blasio, served as campaign treasurer in the 2013 election that put that mayor in power. This single glaring fact alone demands Peters’ recusal from investigation of a generous donor who gave both to de Blasio’s official campaign and a separate mayoral fund called the Campaign for One New York — a pivotal figure in a probe by Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. As de Blasio’s treasurer, Peters would have signed off on checks from fundraisers known as intermediaries — among them Jona Rechnitz, who delivered some $40,000 from donors. sked by the Daily News for details about any contact he may have had with Rechnitz, Peters dodged, asserting that “the allegations of wrongdoing” postdate Peters’ treasurer gig. Peters draws a bright line invisible to the naked eye. Any possibility of improper influence colors the entirety of this donor’s giving — and any investigation must go from the very start of a timeline that begins, in de Blasio’s own telling, with his victory in the September 2013 primary. Presciently, Council members Jumaane Williams and Daniel Garodnick fretted about this very scenario in Peters’ January 2014 confirmation hearing. “I can’t think of an instance where . . . I would need to recuse myself from a matter involving the mayor,” the nominee harrumphed. Are you sure? asked Garodnick. What if the Campaign Finance Board came calling about the de Blasio campaign? “I hadn’t thought of that,” Peters admitted, and then restated: “If the Campaign Finance Board were to make a referral to DOI involving the mayor’s 2013 mayoral campaign then yes, for that I would recuse myself.”

DOI Commissioner de Blasio Treasurer Big Fat GiftGate FBI Conflict of Interests

Department ofInvestigation commissioner — and former campaign treasurer for Mayor de Blasio— says he won’t bow out of fund-raising probe (NYDN) The federal investigation into Mayor de Blasio’s fund-raising took a surprising turn Wednesday as the mayor’s former campaign treasurer — who now runs an agency looking into some of the players — announced he would not bow out of the probe. Mark Peters, treasurer of de Blasio’s 2013 campaign, was appointed by the mayor as Department of Investigation commissioner. DOI is one of several law enforcement agencies now looking into whether two de Blasio donors illegally solicited favors from NYPD brass. One donor, Jona Rechnitz, was a bundler for the mayor’s 2013 election campaign, collecting checks from others that totaled $41,650 and, with his wife, personally contributing another $9,900 in October 2013. At the time, Peters was de Blasio’s treasurer. On Wednesday, after an inquiry from the Daily News, Peters’ office released a statement saying there was no need for him to step away from the probe because the matters under investigation involve donations made when he was no longer treasurer.* Mayor de Blasio’s lawyer gets go-ahead to offer help in U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s corruption probe (NYDN)* De Blasio Plays Down Contact With Men at Heart of U.S. Inquiry (NYT)* De Blasio’s Former Campaign Treasurer Involved in Fund-Raising Inquiry (NYT) The New York City Investigation Department says Commissioner Mark G. Peters will not recuse himself.* New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said he asked a lawyer to reach out to federal prosecutors to offer his full cooperation as investigators examine his donors and fundraising operation from his 2013 campaign, The Wall Street Journal writes:  * De Blasio said he had conversations in 2014 and into 2015 with two financial backers who are now at the center of a federal investigation, acknowledging more extensive contact with the men than he had previously, the Times writes: * Rivington House Roundup: US Attorney Preet BhararaInvestigating Controversial Deed Lifting (Bowery)*De Blasio said that he had conversations “over the course of 2014″ and into the next year with two financial backers who are now at the center of a federal investigation, acknowledging more extensive contact with the men than he had previously. But he refused to say what the conversations were about or how frequently they occurred. *  Details Of Alleged Ponzi Scheme Emerge In Wake Of DeBlasio Corruption Probe Flashback De Blasio investigations chief defends policy shift (PoliticoNY)In recent weeks, Mark Peters, the commissioner of the city’s Department of Investigation, has been forced to explain himself. Unflattering news reports have highlighted a steep drop in arrests from his department, leading Council members to question whether Peters—who is Mayor Bill de Blasio's former campaign treasurer—has abandoned D.O.I.’s traditional mission of rooting out public corruption to focus instead on the policy portion of its mission.

Man Who Exposed The City Hall Cover Up of the Largest Corruption Scandal In City History, CityTime Still Being Ignored 
Not One City Official or Lobbyists Has Been Charged 
'EVERYONE KEPT THEIR EYES CLOSED': Man who says he publicly exposed Citytime scam and caused a probe wants his fair share of $500 million settlement (NYDN)  A man who claims to have publicly exposed the $100 million Citytime scam nearly two years before officials started investigating the payroll project wants part of the contractor’s massive settlement with the city.  Vinod Khurana, a 54-year-old software engineer who worked on CityTime, publicly blew the whistle on project managers’ dirty dealings in a Jan. 31, 2009, anonymous blog post, he told the Daily News in an exclusive interview. The project began in 1998 as a $63 million effort to bring the city’s payroll operation into the 21st century — but developers wound up treating “the city like their own giant ATM,” diverting millions to offshore bank accounts, prosecutors have said. Eight former officials of companies involved in the project have been convicted on fraud and bribery charges, and two more criminal cases are still pending. 

Lobbyists "Consultants Were Allow to Run Rampant On the 911 Project" DOI
The main contractor, Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC), was eventually forced by federal prosecutors and the city in March 2012 to pay $500 million to avoid criminal indictment. “People did this for their own self-interest, and they got caught up in the money they were being paid, and they didn’t question it,” Khurana told The News. “Everyone kept their eyes closed.” Khurana worked on CityTime for Florida-based Spherion Corp., the so-called “quality assurance manager” that was supposed to oversee SAIC’s work on the system and track the billing. His job was to analyze the system’s performance. Khurana, who now lives in Texas, said he first raised questions internally in 2004. Spherion fired him in May 2007 — and Khurana felt it was directly related to his complaints about the project. Khurana sued Spherion in 2011 for unfair termination, as well as a piece of the $500 million SAIC settlement. He claims in the lawsuit that he’s entitled to part of the money for helping the city’s investigation. Spherion and the city counter that Khurana’s role in uncovering the fraud was limited at best — and that he’s motivated by greed.  “Mr. Khurana’s claims lack factual and legal merit, and are categorically denied by Spherion,” attorney Rita Glavin of Seward & Kissel told The News.“There has been no wrongdoing by Spherion, and there is no legal basis for Mr. Khurana to seek payment,” she said.* Suzannah B. Troy artist: NYDN CityTime Article by GrayhamRayman Doesn't have my exclusive the CNN IReport 

 New York City Department of Investigation Commissioner Mark Peters said the agency was focusing on systemic investigations and should not be judged by declines in arrests and referrals, the Journal reports:

DOI Not Arresting Corrupt City Workers . . . A Political Operation?

Arrests by Department of Investigation drop 74 percent in 2014(NYP) Arrests and referrals for criminal prosecution dropped dramatically at the city Department of Investigation under a new commissioner who previously served as Mayor de Blasio’s campaign treasurer. Records show that from July through November 2014 — the first five months of the current fiscal year — arrests by the agency’s investigators fell 74 percent, from 374 to 96, compared with the same period a year earlier during the Bloomberg administration. Similarly, the number of referrals for criminal prosecution over the same period tanked from 301 to 105 — a decline of 65 percent. Referrals for less serious charges also dropped, falling by 37 percent. At the same time, the agency is taking 30 percent longer to close cases, 178 days compared with 137 a year before. Corrections Dept The city’s Department of Investigation found dozens of corrections officer hires had questionable backgrounds, including gang affiliations, criminal histories and psychological problems, the Times writes:

Team de Blasio Shuts Down A Boss Tweed Crime Fighter 
 See-no-evil department (NYP Ed)  Is Team de Blasio trying to cover up some shenanigans among its staff? If not, then why does its internal watchdog — the Department of Investigation, now run by Mayor de Blasio’s former campaign treasurer, Mark Peters — seem to have gone on permanent vacation when it comes to rooting out municipal corruption? Formed in the 1870s after William “Boss” Tweed stole millions from the city’s coffers, DOI’s job is to investigate potential ethics violations, embezzlement, bribery and other corruption among city employees and contractors. Yet as The Post reported this week, the agency’s arrests plunged a whopping 74 percent over the first five months of this fiscal year, versus the same period in 2013. Referrals for criminal prosecutions fell 65 percent; other referrals dropped 37 percent. The agency is also taking 30 percent longer to close cases, and — for the first time in years — didn’t publish a statistical report on its accomplishments for 2014.* * The New York City Department of Investigation, now run by de Blasio’s former campaign treasurer Mark Peters, seem to have gone on permanent vacation when it comes to rooting out municipal corruption, the Post writes: 
Arrests by Department of Investigation drop 74 percent in 2014  via @nypost appears office just a political operation

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