DE BLASIO: GROWING LEAD SCANDAL

July 12, 2018 at 4:30 am

The New York City Housing Authority scandal expands, and Mayor de Blasio is the current focus. Why didn’t he, or his office, disclose lead paint inspection failures for 2 years?

Aired on July 11, 2018.

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> GOOD EVENING, AND WELCOME TO
"METROFOCUS," I AM JENNA
FLANAGAN.
LEAD PAINT NIGHTMARE CONTINUES
TONIGHT.
AFTER THE CITY REPORTED THAT
ONLY 19 CHILDREN LIVING IN NITRO
RESIDENCIES TESTED POSITIVE FOR
LEAD.
THE NUMBER OF CHILDREN WHO
TESTED POSITIVE IS ACTUALLY MORE
THAN 800.
ALL EYES ON THE MAYOR.
THE MAYOR SAID TO REPORTERS
DURING AN UNRELATED NEWS
CONFERENCE THAT QUOTE, SOMETIMES
WHEN YOU ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF
RUNNING A HOST OF THINGS IT
TAKES A WHILE FOR NEW IDEAS TO
DEVELOP.
THE MAY -- ALL 130,000 NIGHTRO
APARTMENTS.
THE U.S. CITY COUNCIL ISN'T
HOLDING ITS BREATH.
WHY IS IT TAKING THE MAYOR SO
LONG TO REACT.
JOINING US NOW IS THE MAN
LEADING THE PROBE, CHAIRMAN OF
THE NEW YORK COUNTY --
COUNCILMAN TORRES WELCOME TO THE
PROGRAM.
>> FOR THE PUBLIC.
HAS BEEN MISLEADING THE PUBLIC
AND THE COUNCIL ABOUT THE FULL
SCALE.
IN DECEMBER OF 2017, I HOLD A
HEARING ON LEAD SAFETY AND THE
DEPUTY MAYOR OF HEALTH AND HUMAN
SERVICES TESTIFY 19 CASES.
WE HAVE SINCE TO DISCOVER THAT
THE ACTUAL NUMBER IS 820.
SO THE CITY'S DEFINITION OF LEAD
POISONING WAS DIFFERENT FROM
THAT FOR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.
THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT THRESHOLD
IS A BLOOD LEAD LEVEL.
THERE WAS A WHOLE HOST OF
CHILDREN WHO HAD WHAT THE
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.
ONCE YOU HAVE EXPOSURE TO LEAD,
IT HAS CONSEQUENCES THAT CAN
HAUNT YOU FOR THE REST OF YOUR
LIFE.
>> YOU SEE THIS AS AN ISSUE OF
DECEPTION AND DYSFUNCTION OR
NEGLIGENCE.
NOT NECESSARILY THE DISCREPANCY
OF THE TESTING LEVELS WHICH I AM
SURE THE CITY IS GOING TO PUSH
BACK.
>> LOOK, WE KNOW THAT THE
ADMINISTRATION HAS
MISREPRESENTED THE NUMBER OF
CASES OF LEAD EXPOSURE.
THE ADMINISTRATION
MISREPRESENTED THE NUMBER OF
UNITS THAT HAVE LEAD PAINT.
WE WERE ORIGINALLY INFORMED
THERE THERE WERE 50 UNITS AND WE
NOW HEAR THAT THE NUMBER COULD
BE 130,000.
AND THE 820 ONLY REFERS TO THE
NUMBER OF CHILDREN WHO HAVE BEEN
TESTED.
THERE IS A UNIVERSE OF CHILDREN
WHO HAVE GONE UNTESTED AND
ACCORDING TO THE DATA OF THE
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, AMONG
CHILDREN BETWEEN THE AGES OF ONE
AND TWO, 15% GO UNTESTED.
>> DO YOU THINK THERE NEEDS TO
BE A FURTHER PUSH, I BELIEVE
THERE WAS 31 BILLION.
>> IT HAS COME TO ACCUMULATE 31
BILLION DOLLARS WORTH OF CAPITAL
GAINS.
AND NITRA IS NOWHERE NEAR.
>> THE GOVERNMOR WAS DOWN AND
LOOKING AT THE APARTMENTS AND
ALLOCATED FUNDS BUT IT WAS A
DROP IN THE BUCKET.
HOW DO YOU WORK TOGETHER AND
ADDRESS THIS PROBLEM?
>> PART OF IT IS THAT WE NEED
MORE RESOURCES.
THEY HAVE RECEIVED MORE FUNDING
THAN IT HAS SEEN IN DECADES.
$200 MILLION FOR HEATING SYSTEMS
BUT, AGAIN IT PALES IN
COMPARISON.
IT IS NOT ENOUGH TO HAVE THE
FUNDING, THE QUESTION IS CAN
THEY SPEND IT.
AND THERE IS NO REASON TO
BELIEVE THEY ARE WELL-MANAGED TO
SPEND THE DOLLARS THAT WE
ALLOCATED.
BOTH ABOUT INVESTMENT AND
MANAGEMENT AT THE SAME TIME.
>> I AM SURE AS SOMEONE IN
CHARGE OF THE CITY COUNCIL'S
OVERSIGHT BOARD.
WHAT NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED
FIRST.
>> FINALLY THE ADMINISTRATION IS
ADOPTING THE RIGHT POLICY.
THE ADMINISTRATION NEEDS TO
LOWER THE PUBLIC ACTION TO
LEVEL 5.
THE ADMINISTRATION IS GOING TO
PROACTIVELY TEST MORE THAN
130,000 APARTMENTS FOR LEAD
PAINT.
AND IF THEY ARE FOUND TO HAVE
LEAD POINT, THEN ABATEMENT
FOLLOW.
>> WE WILL BE FOLLOWING WHAT IS
DONE AND TO MAKE SURE THE FUNDS
ARE ALLOCATED.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING
US.
>> THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

Mutual of America PSEG

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, and Judy and Josh Weston.

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