Tax Watch Investigation in Journal News Reveals Affordable Housing Scam by Vedat Gashi, Chairman of the Westchester County Board of Legislators
In response to David McKay Wilson’s expose of Legislator Vedat Gashi’s affordable housing scam, published online today in the Journal News, Dan Branda is calling on the Board of Legislators to launch an immediate investigation. Branda is the Republican nominee against Gashi in the upcoming November election.
It is crucial that we can trust the Board of Legislators to proceed with a fair, impartial, and transparent investigation of these allegations against Vedat to run parallel to any other investigation by the many agencies that have jurisdiction. Unfortunately, I don't think we can. In light of Vedat's decision as Board Chair to shut down the last investigation into affordable housing abuse by a legislator, and his decision to sit on that allegation for months before the Yonkers Inspector General compelled him to act, I expect the Democrats will decide what to do in Conference and the public will never know the extent of his scam.
It's insulting that Vedat would try to claim special permissions or ignorance about the legal restrictions of his 4-bedroom Affordable Housing apartment on Central Park West. He is receiving tens of thousands of dollars in property tax breaks every year and is an Officer of the Co-Op Board entrusted to enforce the extremely clear Deed restrictions with New York City. He's a Real Estate attorney who engages in millions of dollars in real estate transactions, and as Chairman of the Board of Legislators he has a duty in Westchester to enact our own Affordable Housing policy. His feigned ignorance is akin to an experienced pilot pretending not to recognize the cockpit controls. Someone as sophisticated and experienced as Vedat cannot be this feckless in the arena that he's built his career upon.
Vedat needs to pick his scam. Either he's defrauding New York's affordable housing program during a housing crunch and collecting substantial property tax subsidies intended for low income New York City residents, or he's defrauding Westchester County by holding an office he's not eligible to hold and collecting a salary with benefits that he's not entitled to collect. He can't claim innocence on one fraud without admitting guilt for the other, and the public documents indicate he's actually guilty of both.