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NYCHA lead case dismissed as part of settlement with federal government

Under the settlement, the city agreed to put at least $2.2 billion in capital funding into its public housing.

Under a settlement signed January 31, prosecutors agreed

Under a settlement signed January 31, prosecutors agreed to dismiss their case within 14 days of a monitor being appointed to oversee NYCHA. Photo Credit: Craig Ruttle

Federal prosecutors filed paperwork Thursday dismissing their case accusing NYCHA of misleading the federal government about the extent of lead paint and other hazards in its portfolio.

Under a settlement signed Jan. 31, prosecutors agreed to dismiss their case within 14 days of a monitor being appointed to oversee the housing authority. Bart Schwartz, the head of a security and investigations firm, was tapped for that position on Feb. 28, according to the prosecutors' court filing.  The city agreed to put at least $2.2 billion in capital funding into its public housing and to pay the monitor and an outside management consultant. 

"In light of the relief obtained in the Agreement, the United States wishes to dismiss the complaint without prejudice," prosecutors noted in the court document. 

The dismissal does not require any approval from the court, according to a spokesman for federal prosecutors. 

Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced this summer that his team had filed a civil case accusing NYCHA of falsely claiming to be adhering to lead paint protocols and of masking leaks, faulty elevators and other dilapidated conditions during inspections.

Beyond working with the federal-appointed monitor, the city agreed to collaborate with the federal government in selecting its next chair/CEO and to abide by action plans stipulating how it will meet various deadlines in addressing lead hazards, heating lapses and other unsafe conditions.

The city ultimately has 20 years to remove all lead hazards from public housing under the agreement. 

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