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HUD PROBE WAS THOROUGH, BUT PARLATO'S FREE TO APPEAL

As the secretary's representative for New York and New Jersey for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, I would like to respond to The News' editorial regarding HUD's action against housing developer Frank Parlato Jr.

I would like to clarify HUD's position. The Feb. 13 issuance of the Limited Denial of Participation on Mr. Parlato was the culmination of two separate reviews -- one by HUD's Inspector General's Office and the second by HUD's Buffalo Office. The purpose of the LDP is to limit his participation while still providing him with a timely opportunity to pursue appeal options.

Mr. Parlato is entitled, under law, to take advantage of HUD's multitiered appeal process and he will be given every opportunity to do so. These appeal options include an informal conference in Buffalo, a subsequent more formal administrative hearing if Mr. Parlato wishes, and finally, the court system -- all of which are open to the public.

HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo is committed to eliminating waste, fraud and abuse within federal housing programs. We aggressively, carefully and thoroughly investigate all allegations, as we did in the Parlato case. Those whom we serve, as well as all taxpayers, expect nothing less.

Bill De Blasio New York City

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