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Mum's The Word at BMHA

Last Thursday, Phil Fairbanks of the Buffalo News reported on federal charges filed against nine individuals and two companies, including a state inspector and two City of Buffalo inspectors, involved in asbestos removal at the vacant Kensington Heights housing project.

The indictment charges that the companies and individuals of improperly disposing of asbestos and falsifying inspection reports. The housing project, owned by the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority, is meant to be demolished, and the site developed into a $105 million assisted living facility. The demolition work stopped last year because of issues with asbestos development, leading to the termination of contracts and lawsuits.

The day after the story was published, BMHA’s executive director, Dawn Sanders, sent a letter to BMHA’s commissioners indicating that both the authority’s in-house counsel (Russ Sciandra, set to retire shortly) and its outside counsel (the high-billing Adam Perry of Hodgson Russ) had advised that the commissioners make no public comments on the matter. Only Sanders “or [her] designee” should speak on the matter, “after consultations withe attorney handling this matter for BMHA.”

Sanders further noted that no BMHA employees had been accused of wrongdoing and that those indicted were no longer working on the project.

geoff kelly

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