NYCHA Basic Supervisor Vito Mustaciuolo cashed in years of unused trip to spice up his paycheck to $515,000 — greater than the mayor and governor mixed. In the meantime, pandemic shutdowns didn’t cease his work crews’ time beyond regulation payments from rising.
The chief who manages town’s troubled Housing Authority made it to the highest of the civil servant heap final 12 months with a paycheck of $515,000 — greater than every other municipal worker, newly launched information present.
Vito Mustaciuolo, normal supervisor and chief working officer of NYCHA, collected extra pay in fiscal 2021 than the mayor and governor’s mixed salaries underneath an uncommon association that allowed him to money in way more trip days than is often allowed.
Mayor invoice de Blasio requested Mustaciuolo to function normal supervisor of NYCHA in 2018, switching from his place as a high official with the Division of Housing Preservation and Growth. On the time, the division solely allowed staff to money in 261 unused trip days, and NYCHA would solely settle for a switch of 54 days.
However Mustaciuolo stated he would take the NYCHA job provided that he may get a payout for each unused trip day he’d accrued over 39 years on town payroll. That got here to 662 days.
Alicia Glen, then de Blasio deputy mayor for housing and financial improvement, organized a workaround, getting NYCHA Chairperson Gregory Russ and NYCHA’s personnel workplace to grant Mustaciuolo’s want.
Barbara Brancaccio, a NYCHA spokesperson, confirmed the weird association and emphasised that the authority’s share of Mustaciuolo’s trip payout would reimbursed by Metropolis Corridor. No federal funds can be concerned, she added.
“NYCHA’s Chief Operating Officer Vito Mustaciuolo has nearly 40 years of dedicated service to New York City,” Brancaccio wrote in response to THE CITY’s questions. “Over four decades, he rarely took time off and when he was recruited to work at NYCHA, it was agreed that he would be compensated for this time.”
All advised in the 2021 fiscal 12 months, which ended June 30, Mustaciulo pulled in a $258,000 wage, with one other $257,000 for the time without work he’d accrued throughout his prolonged profession as a metropolis worker.
No. 2 on the record of highest paid metropolis staff in the 2021 fiscal 12 months is Russ, who was paid $414,000, in response to payroll information compiled and launched by the non-partisan authorities transparency group Empire Middle for Public Coverage.
“This type of salary is outrageous. Between the Chair and the GM/COO, that’s nearly one million dollars,” Metropolis Councilmember Alicka Ampry-Samuel (D-Brooklyn), the nominee to be HUD Area II administrator, advised THE CITY.
“Residents and advocates have long questioned the salaries across NYCHA executives, for good reason,” added Ampry-Samuel, who chairs the Council’s Public Housing Committee. “For an agency with so many challenges that have not been solved or addressed, how can the city justify that level of overtime? And at what point do we put a cap on certain spending levels? It’s just inappropriate.”
Peter Warren, director of analysis for the non-partisan Empire Middle, referred to as the payout “very unusual.”
“It’s very rare for these big lump sums for people who are not leaving,” he advised THE CITY.
Scoring Time beyond regulation
Mustaciuolo and Russ aren’t the one NYCHA staffers listed as top-earners on town payroll. A number of NYCHA plumbers and electricians additionally racked up huge six-figure salaries by choosing up large quantities of time beyond regulation, the info present.
Extreme time beyond regulation is a perennial downside at NYCHA and seems to have worsened through the pandemic.
NYCHA time beyond regulation prices rose from $96 million in the 2019 fiscal 12 months, the final full 12 months earlier than the virus struck, to $138 million in fiscal 2020, which ended in June 2020 — a forty five% leap.
OT climbed once more to $144 million in the 12 months that ended June 30, 2021, in response to the brand new payroll information.
A NYCHA plumber pulled in $356,000 — making him the ninth highest-paid employee in town.
Time beyond regulation put a number of veteran NYCHA tradespeople on the high of town’s earners.
Take supervising plumber Robert Procida, who has lengthy been close to the highest of NYCHA’s time beyond regulation scorecard.
Pre-pandemic, Procida took residence $181,000 in OT in fiscal 2019. The subsequent 12 months he took residence $215,000, then $248,000 in fiscal 2021.
That introduced his whole pay to $356,000 — making him the ninth highest-paid employee in town.
Procida pulled in near the $360,000 earned that 12 months by then-Faculties Chancellor Richard Carranza, and nicely above the $253,000 earned by de Blasio and the $223,000 in pay Andrew Cuomo bought in fiscal 2020 earlier than he resigned in shame as governor.
NYCHA Repairs Lag
All these high-octane funds got here because the authority struggled to offer secure, wholesome circumstances for 400,000 public housing residents.
The authority has fallen far behind in assembly its promised reforms underneath a consent decree relating to the difficulty of mould cleanup in flats, which is pending in federal courtroom. Again in 2018, NYCHA had promised to handle underlying causes of mould, reminiscent of busted pipes, inside 15 days of a restore request.
As of final month, managers had met the deadline solely 3.7% of the time, information present.
After the pandemic struck in March 2020, NYCHA was pressured to chop again on repairs for a time whereas making an attempt to assist stem the unfold of the virus by considerably lowering the task of employees going into flats.
Consequently, the quantity of unfulfilled restore requests steadily rose — from 461,000 in October 2020 to a report 583,000 final month.
Nonetheless, throngs of New Yorkers nonetheless search NYCHA flats: The quantity of candidates on a ready record reached 241,400 final month, a major 18% leap from 204,100 in October 2020.
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