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Public Housing Spotlight
on the New York City
Housing Authority

Issue 105
Published on October 29, 2002

(Click Here for NYCHA "preliminary" Audit
by NYC Comptroller Alan Hevesi)

(Click Here for Directory of Issues)

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NYCHA employees,

You've taken the Post on,
and you've won.

You've shown the hypocrisy of the Post's reporting and editorializing, and you did it with nothing more than your pens!

A little less than 4 weeks ago, Spotty pointed to the NY Post's mistreatment of NYCHA employees. Since then, we've received much mail about the Post's ambush. Each time, we recommended that you write your complaints directly to the Post, and that you then stop buying a paper so dedicated to belittling labor, minorities and the poor.

Let's do a quick review:

Someone in authority at the NY Post had a photographer spend hours monitoring the people who took smoke breaks in front of 250 Broadway, a building across from City Hall that also houses other tenants including the City Council offices.

This photographer spent hours taking photos. Then the real fun must have begun.

Someone had to identify each of these smoke-felons. Someone had to decide that ONLY NYCHA employees would be shown in the Post's own little (widely published) rogues gallery of mug shots.

City Council staffers and employees of the building's other tenants had nothing to worry about . . . the Post would NOT name or even identify them.

Someone had to decide to allow this story to be pushed over a period of days, having a total of 5 REPORTERS and, at least one, photographer being involved in 3 days of stories.

Well, you can now add one more story, a NY Post Editorial and another photo.

Only this time, the photos is of Swinton and his son, the Post is sticking up for NYCHA employees, and the Post wants the blame for this whole assault on Swinton's family to be given to Mayor Bloomberg.


Here's the first two paragraphs from the Post's own story from September 30, 2002:

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"If Mayor Bloomberg really wants to crack down on smoking and make city government more efficient, maybe he should start in his own back yard.

At the city's Housing Authority headquarters - just a cigarette-butt flip across Broadway from City Hall - dozens of authority employees brazenly chain-smoke, some taking nearly five times their allotment of two breaks a day."

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What did the NY Post expect the Mayor to do? Supply lighters and ashtrays? The NY Post forced the firing, not Mayor Bloomberg. But the Post saw that, this time, the whole of the NYC workforce realized how anti-labor the NY Post truly is. There was no American Flag that the Post could hide behind.

It was American workers
the NY Post chose to ambush,
and they even segregated
employees with little power
(NYCHA workers)
from those friendly with the
City's power structure
(City Council staffers).

That story, which brutally assaulted the employees, and challenged the Mayor to act, was quickly followed by 3 others, including one with the reporter Frankie edozien's name connected to it.

Each story just added fuel to the
employee-firing fire the NY Post had been fanning.

The Post smelled blood in the water
and they damn well wanted
a victim they could claim.

They got Bob Swinton.

Now, finally, the powers-that-be at that awful tabloid, after receiving your letters, letters from the Swinton family, expressions of outrage from Swinton's peers and the comments of local officials, also realized that the Post had gone too far.

This weekend, the story changed. And, the same Frankie edozien is now trumpeting the story about how badly the Mayor has treated those poor employees.

Don't believe the NY Post's new propoganda campaign. They got Swinton fired, and now that they realize they spent all those days/columns torturing someone who, even the Post now admits, DID NOTHING WRONG! So, they try pointing the finger of blame elsewhere, deciding to fool everyone into believing Mike Bloomberg fired Swinton on his own.

What hypocrisy at that paper!

But it didn't last long. The comments' and letters' caused a big change at the NY Post. Here's just two of the letters to the editor from this past Sunday's Post:

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"The Post has pushed its hypocritical populism too far this time with a sudden concern for Swinton and his family.

It was The Post's sneaky photographers who were responsible for Bob Swinton losing his job in the first place.

Yet now you guys are trying to place the blame on Bloomberg.

Shame on you.

Guy V. Cimbalo,

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"The Post runs a huge story about how its reporters trailed Robert Swinton while he took 69 minutes in smoking breaks.

Then, when he predictably gets fired, The Post's hypocritical reporters and editors - unable to face the fact that their witch-hunt style of journalism has real-world consequences for ordinary people - rush to defend him.

As usual, The Post is a day late and a dollar short.

Robert Renzulli

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You want a great definition
of chutzpah!

The NY Post still tries to blame Mayor Bloomberg's anti-smoking proposals for Swinton's firing???

Here's just a couple of lines from the
October 24 NY Post Editorial:

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"In the brave new Bloomberg world, there apparently is no greater sin.

Indeed, it is becoming increasingly clear that the mayor's anti-smoking campaign is rooted in a disturbing obsession.

City Hall declined comment on the letter, but it has become clear that it's not just city employees and their families that have been targeted in the anti-tobacco vendetta."

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If you see a friend reading the Post, please clue them in on how they are supporting a paper that stabs employees in the back and then rushes in, camouflaged in a doctor's smock, pretending to help the poor victim while pointing blame for the stabbing elsewhere!

If you see Robert Swinton, tell him you're reading the Daily News and, come the appropriate election day, you'll be voting against Bloomberg and the current crop of City Council Members if Swinton isn't back at his desk come that election day.

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We received the following and thought it important enough to reprint here:

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The New York City Districting Commission was established in June of 2002 to redraw the NYC City Council Districts to reflect the population changes as determined in the 2000 census. The Commission has just recently completed its first round of public hearings soliciting public opinion on the current configuration of the New York City Council districts and the representation they provide. Public input is extremely important to the process of redistricting and further outreach will be sought as the process goes forward.

In order to promote further understanding and participation by the public, please consider including a piece on the redistricting process in your issue of Spotlight. Your assistance with this important effort is greatly appreciated. For more information on the redistricting process please contact Shirley Miranda-Rodriguez at (212) 487-1052 or visit our website
(Click here) at www.nyc.gov/lines.

Shirley Miranda-Rodriguez
Press Secretary
New York City Districting Commission
59 Maiden Lane, 24th Floor
New York, NY 10038
fax 212-487-8022

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© 2002 Public Housing Spotlight and John Ballinger. All rights reserved.
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Contact Jack Ballinger at nychaspotlight@netscape.net
for a Real Audio sound clip containing a
conversation wherein DOI Investigator
John Kilpatrick discusses how he learned
that 2 NYCHA execs attended
a Mafia connected contractor's funeral .

Contact Jack Ballinger at nychaspotlight@netscape.net
for a Real Audio sound clip containing
the (3 Meg) confession of Tony DiAlto.
Tony was a member of a group of
corrupt Contract Inspectors working at NYCHA.
Neither Tony nor the person he confessed to
sharing his bribes with (Richard Penesi)
were ever charged, let alone prosecuted, by DOI.

For a great source of general tenant information,
visit the Tenant Net Home Page |

And for a great source of New York City news and
policy information, visit our friends at the Gotham Gazette

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NYC Housing Authority's
(NYCHA) own site

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U.S. Department of
Housing and Urban Development

451 7th Street S.W.,
Washington, DC 20410
Telephone: (202) 708-1112
TTY: (202) 708-1455

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Public Housing Authorities
Directors Association site

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