Home featured Contractors cheated workers out of $1 million in wages for work on public housing, schools, officials say

Contractors cheated workers out of $1 million in wages for work on public housing, schools, officials say

by Welcome to Harlem
The taxpayer-subsidized Sugar Hill housing development in Harlem was one of the buildings where workers were shorted money for work done.

The taxpayer-subsidized Sugar Hill housing development in Harlem was one of the buildings where workers were shorted money for work done.

Contractors building schools, public housing and taxpayer-subsidized affordable apartments in the city cheated their workers out of $1 million in wages, law enforcement officials charged Wednesday.

Five builders were hit with criminal charges by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman following a joint investigation of wage-cheating with city Department of Investigation Commissioner Mark Peters.

“We are seeking to make workers whole. We are taking money out of the pockets of cheating contractors,” said Schneiderman.

The firms cheated workers building two public schools, a Queens NYCHA development and a signature affordable apartment project in Harlem that Mayor de Blasio counted as a hallmark achievement in his quest for cheaper housing.

De Blasio held a press conference last summer in the lobby of a new taxpayer-subsidized Sugar Hill housing development in Harlem to crow about 124 brand-new affordable apartments.

The day of the June 9 press conference, workers were prevented from going downstairs to blab about the fact that they were being cheated out of tens of thousands of dollars in wages.

On Wednesday Schneiderman and Peters alleged a subcontractor on that job, Lalo Drywall, deliberately underpaid eight workers by a total of $800,000.

BY Greg B. Smith

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