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NYCHA tenant president defends herself after becoming target of DOI investigation

Posted at 10:05 PM, Feb 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-27 22:07:17-05

After the Department of Investigation released an investigation of allegations of top managers drinking on the job and having sexual relationships at a Bronx NYCHA development, a second investigation released Tuesday focuses on a NYCHA tenant association president who was the whistleblower in the first.

She alleges it's retaliation.

"I just want people to know the truth. When NYCHA goes low we stand high," said Monique Johnson, the Throggs Neck Tenant Association president, Wednesday.

Johnson says she is now forced to defend herself, after the DOI released a report Tuesday saying Johnson, "for years inappropriately diverted NYCHA staff time and funding for tenant association purposes, thus depriving other Throggs Neck tenants of needed resources."

"I expected them to retaliate. That's the nature of the beast," said Johnson.

PIX11 first told you about the allegations at Throggs Neck back in August. A several-month-long DOI investigation showed top NYCHA managers drank on the job, had sexual relationships and mistreated workers.

Not proven were allegations of sex parties on the job. Over 40 workers were transferred to other developments.

"I don’t mind being the topic of conversation, just get it right. We have 1724 apartments [and] we only have four maintenance guys," Johnson said.

Investigators also said Johnson demanded, "renovations in her own apartment and the TA office, and enlisted Bronx borough managers to instruct development staff to follow her direction."

Improvements included a security camera system for almost $5,000 and a stove for over $500 for her office. Johnson also allegedly demanded workers paint her bathroom purple.

According to the DOI report, Johnson was previously investigated for this type of behavior in 2013.

"How do you mismanage something that is not in your possession," said Johnson on Wednesday.

NYCHA and DOI had no comment.

The City Council will have a public hearing concerning both of these DOI investigations on Monday, March 5, at 10 a.m.

Johnson said she will be there. NYCHA bosses are also expected to testify.

Watch Johnson's full press conference from Wednesday: