Is Christine Quinn connected to Wendell Walters's Department of Housing Preservation and Development Bribery-Kickbacks-Racketeering Scandal ?
Last Thursday, Wendell Walters, an assistant commissioner of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, was arrested and charged with accepting approximately $600,000 in known bribes. His arrest was part of a sting operation that also resulted in the arrest of six real estate developers.
Mr. Walters was charged with demanding bribes and kickbacks from developers, who had been awarded contracts, by Department of Housing Preservation and Development, to building about $22 million in moderately priced housing in the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn.
The racketeering conspiracy, extortion, bribery, wire fraud, and money laundering charges against Mr. Walters once again raises questions about the integrity of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s ill-fated and karhmically-doomed third term. The Bloomberg administration had launched a hugely expensive $8.5 billion affordable housing program, and nobody knows how much of that massive budget is being wasted on bribes and other forms of corruption. Authorities in Mr. Wendell's bribery case told The New York Times that the developers and contractors, who were paying Mr. Wendell bribes and kickbacks, inflated their invoices to New York City in order to cover the costs of their racketeering operation.
Already, the blogger and political commentator Suzannah B. Troy has called into question the shady dealings of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development in the Bronx, one of the areas where Mr. Wendell operated his bribery scheme. After the New York Community Bank foreclosed on eight Bronx rent-regulated apartment buildings in the Bronx, tenants sued the bank for money to repair the slummy apartments, and naturally the Department of Housing Preservation and Development and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn were trying to get into the action because of the real estate development contracts that would be ordered to make costly repairs.
According to The New York Times, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development is the largest municipal developer of affordable housing in the United States. Separately, The New York Daily News reported that, ''One of Walters' codefendants is Sergio Benitez, a developer who is currently at the heart of an ongoing corruption probe involving City Councilman Erik Dilan.''