In 2001, 1500 tenants were relocated out of Prospect Plaza Houses in Crown Heights. The City promised them the housing project would be renovated by 2005, and they'd be moved back in.
The City has since changed their mind about that and have decided to demolish the buildings instead.
They hired a company called 'Breeze National' to tear down the four buildings. The problem is up until very recently, 'Breeze National' was owned by Toby Romano Sr., "an alleged organized crime associate who was convicted in 1988 of bribing a health inspector during an asbestos removal job."
In 2006 an affiliate of the company, 'Breeze Carting' was denied a license to haul trash for the city, mostly due to Romano's record and "material misrepresentations" (LIES) on the application.
In 2009, the city required 'Breeze National' to hire an anti-corruption monitor to watch them while they worked, but even that didn't work.
Shortly after, Breeze was tearing down the old Shea Stadium when the monitor noticed that one of Breeze's employees was none other than Herb Pate, a "known associate of the Luchese crime family." When confronted about it, Breeze got rid of Pate and claimed that Toby Romano Sr. no longer owned the company.
However, that was not entirely true, documents obtained by the New York Daily News show Romano Sr's wife, Mary is listed as VP/Treasurer and is co-owner with Romano's son, Toby Jr. Breeze.
Last year on April, 2, 2012, Breeze and four other companies submitted bids to the city to tear down the high-rises and replace them with low-rise townhouses and apartments. Breeze's bid was $5.8 to do the job, a lot lower than the other bids, with the next lowest bid being $10.5 million.
20 days after this bid was submitted, a garage that Breeze was demolishing for Columbia University, collasped, trapping 3 men in the rubble. One of the trapped men died and federal regulators claimed they warned Breeze about a "crack in the structural steel before the accident, but did nothing about it. Breeze received two safety violations and a $9,800 fine, which Breeze is fighting.
Which is odd considering just the year before, Breeze had ANOTHER worker die in ANOTHER Columbia University job by falling down an elevator shaft.
Despite the mob ties, safety violations and deaths, Breeze was hired over four other firms to demolish the housing project buildings because the City is obligated to give the jobs to the lowest bidder.
HPD spokesman Eric Bederman said, Breeze's bid
"were substantially lower than the next lowest bidder, offering the City the opportunity to save millions of taxpayer dollars that can now be budgeted by NYCHA to aid in other priorities."
The job is already behind schedule, demolition was supposed to begin on April 15th but as of Friday, nothing had been done and all the buildings are still standing.