Department of Investigation finds employee misconduct at Bronx projects

Two city workers in the Throggs Neck public housing is under a spotlight for abuse of power

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Drama has recently stuck the 29-building Throggs Neck public housing complex in the Bronx and the Department of Investigation was called in to explore local complaints. According to The New York Times, resident leaders have claimed that 40 workers were reassigned from their positions in the project because they were engaging in “alcohol-fueled sex parties.”

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While these resident leaders’ claims were unsubstantiated, the New York City’s Department of Investigation did find cause for concern. Instead of finding evidence supporting claims that these employees had wild orgies on the city’s dime, investigators reported that there was  “a culture of misconduct, employee mistreatment and favoritism,” led by two former managers plaguing the complex.

The six-page report provides details of the work environment included managers retaliating against subordinates, rigging contracts and destroying appliances.

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One of the findings of the report included an incident involving two managers; Wallace Vereen and Brianne Pawson. Both managers bullied and threatened employees, and were extremely vocal about the power they had over the employees.

While the orgy allegations were unfounded, the report revealed that some higher ups received sex in exchange for special treatment and abuse.

Ritchie Torres, a city councilman who grew up in Throggs Neggs Houses, said the report emphasized the lack of oversight over the city’s public housing system, according to The New York Times.

“The failures at Throggs Neck are no abstraction to me,” said Mr. Torres “They’re deeply personal. There was a clear culture of abuse, but the question I have is how such abusive an environment could go unnoticed for so long.”

A spokeswoman from the New York City Housing Authority said that they were seeking to dismiss the two managers accused in the report. But, critics, on the other hand, said the information revealed in the report are symbolic of the failed oversight of the housing agency towards the over 300 housing projects that house hundreds and thousands of people in the city.