Saturday, August 8, 2020

Governor Cuomo Announces That, Based on Each Region's Infection Rate, Schools Across New York State are Permitted to Open This Fall


Every Region's Infection Rate Is Below the Threshold Necessary By The State's Standards To All Schools To Reopen Based on Strict Department of Health Guidelines 

In-Person vs Partial Reopening to Be Determined Locally By Each Individual School District 

Department of Health Will Review Submitted Reopening Plans From School Districts And Notify Districts of Their Status on Monday

School Districts Must Have Three-Five Public Meetings with Parents Prior to August 21

One Percent of Yesterday's COVID-19 Tests were Positive

5 COVID-19 Deaths in New York State Yesterday

SLA and State Police Task Force Visits 1,028 Establishments, Observes 14 Violations of State Requirements

Confirms 714 Additional Coronavirus Cases in New York State - Bringing Statewide Total to 419,642; New Cases in 44 Counties 

Governor Cuomo: "By our infection rates, all school districts can open everywhere in the state. Every region is below the threshold that we established which is just great news. Let me say it this way: You look at our infection rate; we are probably in the best situation in the country right now - as incredible as that is. If anyone can open schools, we can open schools. That's true for every region in the state. Period."

  Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that based on each region's infection rate, schools across the state are permitted to open this fall. Every region's infection rate is below the threshold necessary by the State's standards to open schools. The Department of Health will review submitted reopening plans from school districts and notify districts of their status on Monday. Out of 749 school districts across the state, 127 have not yet submitted plans to the Department of Health, and another 50 are incomplete or deficient.  The determination of how individual districts reopen - in-person vs a hybrid model - will be made by local school districts under strict Department of Health guidelines. The Department of Health's guidance is available here.

The Governor also announced that school districts must post their remote learning plan online as well as their plan for testing and tracing students and teachers. Schools must also have three to five public meetings prior to August 21 with parents - who will be allowed to participate remotely - as well as one meeting with teachers to go through their reopening plan. 

The Governor also updated New Yorkers on the state's progress during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The number of new cases, percentage of tests that were positive and many other helpful data points are always available at

Governor Cuomo Updates New Yorkers on State's Progress During COVID-19 Pandemic


One Percent of Yesterday's COVID-19 Tests were Positive

5 COVID-19 Deaths in New York State Yesterday

SLA and State Police Task Force Visits 1,028 Establishments, Observes 14 Violations of State Requirements

Confirms 714 Additional Coronavirus Cases in New York State - Bringing Statewide Total to 419,642; New Cases in 44 Counties 

  Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today updated New Yorkers on the state's progress during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The number of new cases, percentage of tests that were positive and many other helpful data points are always available at

"Our performance is extraordinary in this sea of spread around us. Our numbers are great because we're doing what we need to do - the quarantine procedures are all in place and we're enforcing compliance," Governor Cuomo said. "But we cannot become complacent, especially as infection rates continue to surge. We must protect the progress we've made in New York, and it's going to take the work of all of us to keep wearing our masks, socially distancing and staying New York Tough."

Yesterday, the State Liquor Authority and State Police Task Force visited 1,028 establishments in New York City and Long Island and observed 14 establishments that were not in compliance with state requirements. A county breakdown of yesterday's observed violations is below:

  • Bronx - 3
  • Brooklyn - 4
  • Manhattan - 5
  • Queens - 2

Today's data is summarized briefly below:

  • Patient Hospitalization - 579 (+9)
  • Patients Newly Admitted - 84
  • Hospital Counties - 30
  • Number ICU - 139 (+7)
  • Number ICU with Intubation - 66 (-3)
  • Total Discharges - 73,530 (+58)
  • Deaths - 5
  • Total Deaths - 25,190

Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Announces Agreement To Address New York City’s Ongoing Non-Compliance With Rikers Consent Judgment


  Audrey Strauss, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that the United States has entered into an agreement (“Remedial Order”) with New York City and the New York City Department of Correction (“DOC”) to address ongoing non-compliance with core provisions of a Court-ordered Consent Judgment entered in October 2015 to reduce violence in NYC jails on Rikers Island and ensure the safety and well-being of inmates.  The Remedial Order, which is subject to the final approval of the Court, requires DOC to implement operational reforms to fix systemic deficiencies that have continued to plague the jail system.  Specifically, under the Remedial Order, DOC must adopt numerous new measures designed to reduce the unnecessary use of force against inmates, improve staff supervision, enhance the quality and timeliness of investigations into use of force incidents, ensure that correction officers are held accountable for their misconduct, and better manage and supervise the youngest inmates in custody.  The independent federal monitor overseeing the Consent Judgment will assess compliance with the requirements of the Remedial Order. 

Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said:  “Five years ago, this Office entered into a groundbreaking, Court-enforceable agreement requiring the City and the Department of Correction to implement sweeping, comprehensive reforms to protect the constitutional rights of inmates and ensure their safety.  As documented repeatedly through the federal monitor’s reports to the Court, the City and DOC have failed to fulfill core obligations under that agreement.  While this Office recognizes that changing a decades-long culture of violence is not a simple task, the City and DOC must do better.  By agreeing to adopt the measures set forth in this Remedial Order, they have taken a step in the right direction.  This Office will continue to closely monitor the implementation of the required reforms and vigilantly enforce the requirements of the Remedial Order and the underlying Consent Judgment.”

In August 2014, after completing a multi-year investigation, this Office issued a report that concluded that “a deep-seated culture of violence is pervasive throughout the adolescent facilities at Rikers, and DOC staff routinely utilize force not as a last resort, but instead as a means to control the adolescent population and punish disorderly or disrespectful behavior.”  The United States proceeded to join a class action lawsuit against the City, Nunez v. City of New York, which alleged that DOC engaged in a pattern and practice of using unnecessary and excessive force against inmates throughout the jail system.  In October 2015, Judge Laura Taylor Swain entered a Consent Judgment requiring DOC to develop and implement myriad new practices, systems, policies, and procedures to reduce violence and the use of excessive and unnecessary force.  The Consent Judgment is subject to the oversight of the Court and an independent federal monitor.

Notwithstanding these Court-mandated reforms, the frequency with which correction officers use force against inmates has increased dramatically since the Consent Judgment was entered, with the average monthly use of force rate increasing by more than 100% from 2016 to 2019.  In recent bi-annual reports to the Court, the federal monitor has found the City and DOC to be in non-compliance with numerous key provisions of the Consent Judgment.  For instance, in his report filed on May 29, 2020, the federal monitor found that DOC “continues to struggle to properly manage Staff’s use of force” and went on to conclude that “a pattern of unprofessional conduct and hyper-confrontational behavior by Staff, an overreliance on alarms and the Probe Team, misuse of OC spray [i.e., pepper spray], use of painful escort techniques, and improper use of head strikes have all plagued the agency’s use of force since the Effective Date [of the Consent Judgment].”

The Remedial Order requires DOC, among other things, to:

  • Improve the level of supervision of Captains by substantially increasing the number of Assistant Deputy Wardens assigned to jails. 
  • Evaluate inmates who have been involved in a significant number of use of force incidents to determine whether their mental health needs are being adequately addressed, and whether existing security and management protocols are appropriate for these inmates.
  • Develop a new protocol governing the composition and deployment of Facility Emergency Response Teams (i.e., probe teams) in order to minimize unnecessary or avoidable uses of force by staff.
  • By the end of the year, complete all outstanding investigations into use of force incidents that have been pending for a lengthy period of time. 
  • Utilize a recently created unit of trained investigators to investigate all use of force incidents within 25 business days to determine whether staff violated the use of force policy, or whether further investigation is necessary.
  • Consistently not exceed caseload targets approved by the federal monitor for investigators responsible for investigating use of force incidents.  
  • Impose immediate corrective action on staff for violations of the use of force policy when recommended by the federal monitor.   
  • Expedite the prosecution of disciplinary cases involving violations of the use of force policy by, among other things, ensuring that at least 50 cases are heard each month by the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (“OATH”).                                                                                            
  • With respect to units housing 18-year-old inmates, improve the staff assignment system such that the same correction officers, Captains, and Assistant Deputy Wardens are consistently assigned to work in the same housing unit and on the same tour, to the extent feasible.
  • With respect to units housing 18-year-old inmates, implement a system that includes a variety of short-term and long-term rewards and consequences to incentivize positive inmate behavior and sanction negative conduct.

While this Office remains extremely concerned with DOC’s ongoing failure to comply with core requirements of the Consent Judgment, the Office recognizes that the agency has made some significant improvements in other areas since the Consent Judgment became effective.  For example, DOC has installed thousands of wall-mounted video surveillance cameras throughout the jails to ensure complete camera coverage; created and provided a wide range of new training programs for staff; developed a new computerized case management system to track a wide range of information relating to use of force incidents; eliminated the use of punitive segregation for inmates under the age of 22; and stopped housing youths under the age of 18 on Rikers Island.

Company President And Employee Arrested In Alleged Scheme To Violate The Export Control Reform Act


  Audrey Strauss, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, John C. Demers, Assistant Attorney General for National Security, and Jonathan Carson, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Office of the U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Export Enforcement (“OEE”), announced the arrests today of CHONG SIK YU, a/k/a “Chris Yu,” and YUNSEO LEE.  YU and LEE are charged with conspiring to unlawfully export dual-use electronics components, in violation of the Export Control Reform Act, and to commit wire fraud, bank fraud, and money laundering.  YU and LEE were arrested this morning and are expected to be presented later today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kevin Nathaniel Fox in Manhattan federal court.

Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said:  “Chong Sik Yu and Yunseo Lee are accused of violating U.S. export laws by sending electronics components with military applications to Hong Kong and China.  Together with the Commerce Department and all of our law enforcement partners, we will continue to protect our national security by preventing dual-use technologies from being sent abroad without the required licenses.” 

Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers said:  “The Department’s fight against illegal technology transfer to China is no more critical than in areas like those involved in this case – controlled items used in missile and nuclear technology.  We will do everything in our power to disrupt illegal exports like these that jeopardize our national security.” 

OEE Special Agent in Charge Jonathan Carson said:  “A top priority of the Office of Export Enforcement is identifying and disrupting the illicit export of items to Hong Kong and China that undermine the national security of the United States.  We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners using criminal prosecutions to keep the most dangerous goods out of the most dangerous hands.”

As alleged in the criminal Complaint,[1] unsealed today in Manhattan federal court:

Since at least 2019, a U.S. company named America Techma Inc. (“ATI”) has illegally exported electronic components from the United States to Hong Kong for apparent re-export to other countries, including China, in violation of the Export Control Reform Act of 2018 (“ECRA”).  Pursuant to the ECRA controls, the Department of Commerce administers export-licensing and other requirements for the export of goods, software, and technologies from the United States to foreign countries.  These requirements restrict the export of items that could make a significant contribution to the military potential of other nations or that could be detrimental to the foreign policy or national security of the United States.  The Commerce Department identifies the most sensitive items subject to Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”) on the Commerce Control List (“CCL”), which is categorized by Export Control Classification Number (“ECCN”).

YU is ATI’s president, and LEE is an ATI sales representative.  YU and LEE worked together and with others to ship what they knew to be export-controlled items to Hong Kong and China.  For instance, in June 2019, ATI obtained electronics components – which are export-controlled under the CCL for missile technology, nuclear nonproliferation, and anti-terrorism reasons – from a U.S. supplier (“U.S. Supplier-1”), and then sent those components to a trading company in Hong Kong (“Hong Kong Trading Company-1”).  In January 2020, ATI attempted to send to Hong Kong Trading Company-1 several electronic components, which are export-controlled under the CCL for national security, regional stability, missile technology, nuclear nonproliferation, and anti-terrorism reasons.  After the January 2020 package was detained by law enforcement, YU and LEE discussed methods for evading future law enforcement scrutiny by, for instance, transshipping packages through South Korea, and by using a separate company based in New Jersey (the “New Jersey Reshipper”) to send shipments to Hong Kong in an attempt to avoid customs scrutiny of ATI’s shipments.

For instance, on February 12, 2020, LEE sent an email to another ATI customer located in Hong Kong (“Hong Kong Company-2”) stating that: “[W]e had delivery issue currently with customs, so we’ve decided to release all items to South Korea first and release to HK from Korea temporarily.”  The next day, LEE received a response, which stated, in part, “Most of the items we buy from ATI are under ECCN restriction, so I guess ATI will stock in and release to [ATI’s branch in South Korea], and then ship to HK . . . am I correct?”  LEE replied, “Yes you are right.” 

On March 5, 2020, LEE responded to Hong Kong Company-2’s inquiry regarding whether ATI could sell certain components to China.  LEE’s response, which copied YU, stated: “We’ve sold” the requested parts “to China customer many times. . . But currently we have customs issue so we don’t know how to handle it. [W]e are thinking we release all controlled parts to South Korea first then release to HK from Korea[.]”

Hong Kong Trading Company-1 also advised ATI on steps to take in order to evade U.S. export controls.  For instance, Hong Kong Trading Company-1 advised YU and LEE to use a marker to obscure ATI’s name on labels, to cover each component with an electro-static discharge (“ESD”) bag, to remove all original documentation from the package, and to use the New Jersey Reshipper to send the shipment.  On March 14, 2020, LEE sent an email to Hong Kong Trading Company‑1, copying YU, stating: “We will follow your direction like adjusting invoice or removed label. But we do not have responsible if it will have problem during the transit to you. But for sure, we will do everything what you want for preparing shipments.  We just hope that there is no more detained package.” 

In April 2020, ATI sent a package of components to Hong Kong Trading Company-1 using the New Jersey Reshipper.  The package was inspected and detained by U.S. customs authorities.  Consistent with Hong Kong Trading Company-1’s instructions, the components had been placed in ESD bags labelled with part numbers different from the actual part numbers.  One of the components in the April 2020 shipment was export-controlled under the CCL for national security and anti-terrorism. 

Financial and shipping records establish that ATI has had a long-standing relationship with Hong Kong Trading Company-1.  Between August 2016 and July 2020, ATI shipped more than 200 packages to Hong Kong Trading Company-1.  In the one-year period between May 2019 and June 2020, Hong Kong Trading Company-1 transferred over $800,000 into ATI’s bank account in the United States.      

No one involved in any of these transactions obtained the licenses required under the ECRA to export these dual-use components.  

YU, 58, of Oradell, New Jersey, and LEE, 33, of Fort Lee, New Jersey, are each charged with one count of conspiring to unlawfully export dual-use electronics components, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, one count of conspiring to commit wire fraud and bank fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, and one count of conspiring to commit money laundering, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.  The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants will be determined by a judge.

Ms. Strauss praised the extraordinary investigative work of the New York Field Office of the Department of Commerce, Office of Export Enforcement.  Ms. Strauss also thanked the Newark Field Offices of Homeland Security Investigations and U.S. Customs and Border Protection for their assistance in the investigation, as well as the Counterintelligence and Export Control Section of the Department of Justice’s National Security Division. 

The charges contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. 

 [1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Complaint and the description of the Complaint set forth herein are only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.

Attorney General James Refuses to Back Down in Fight Against NRA


AG James Bats Down Notion NRA Can Pick Up and Move to Another State

  New York Attorney General Letitia James today released the following statement in response to a National Rifle Association (NRA) countersuit that seeks to distract from illegal conduct to divert millions of dollars away from the organization’s charitable mission to personally benefit senior leadership, as well as to claims by President Donald Trump and others that the NRA should relocate to another state:

“While President Trump and others have suggested that the NRA should simply pick up and leave New York in an effort to evade responsibility, I’d remind them that we shut down the president’s own foundation, recouped millions in diverted funds after unearthing the illegal use of charitable funds, and directed those funds to lawful organizations for legitimate charitable purposes. We intend to do the same with the NRA. To be clear, no charity registered in New York state, including the NRA, can dissolve and relocate to another state without approval of my office or of the Supreme Court of New York. As long as our lawsuit continues, the NRA must stay right where it is and answer for their deep-rooted fraud. The facts speak for themselves and our lawsuit will continue undeterred.”

Yesterday, Attorney General James filed a lawsuit against the NRA, Wayne LaPierre, and three of LaPierre’s current or former top executives for failing to manage the NRA’s funds; failing to follow numerous state and federal laws, as well as the NRA’s own bylaws and policies; and contributing to the loss of more than $64 million in just three years for the NRA. The suit was filed against the NRA as a whole, LaPierre, as well as former Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer Wilson “Woody” Phillips, former Chief of Staff and the Executive Director of General Operations Joshua Powell, and Corporate Secretary and General Counsel John Frazer.

Attorney General James Files Lawsuit to Dissolve NRA


AG James’ Action Will Hold Powerful Gun Group Accountable

Lawsuit Details Years of Illegal Self-Dealing That Funded Lavish Lifestyle of NRA Leaders

  New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit seeking to dissolve the National Rifle Association (NRA), the largest and most influential pro-gun organization in the nation. Attorney General James charges the organization with illegal conduct because of their diversion of millions of dollars away from the charitable mission of the organization for personal use by senior leadership, awarding contracts to the financial gain of close associates and family, and appearing to dole out lucrative no-show contracts to former employees in order to buy their silence and continued loyalty. The suit specifically charges the NRA as a whole, as well as Executive Vice-President Wayne LaPierre, former Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Wilson “Woody” Phillips, former Chief of Staff and the Executive Director of General Operations Joshua Powell, and Corporate Secretary and General Counsel John Frazer with failing to manage the NRA’s funds and failing to follow numerous state and federal laws, contributing to the loss of more than $64 million in just three years for the NRA.

In the complaint, Attorney General James lays out dozens of examples where the four individual defendants failed to fulfill their fiduciary duty to the NRA and used millions upon millions from NRA reserves for personal use, including trips for them and their families to the Bahamas, private jets, expensive meals, and other private travel. In addition to shuttering the NRA’s doors, Attorney General James seeks to recoup millions in lost assets and to stop the four individual defendants from serving on the board of any not-for-profit charitable organization in the state of New York again.

“The NRA’s influence has been so powerful that the organization went unchecked for decades while top executives funneled millions into their own pockets,” said Attorney General James. “The NRA is fraught with fraud and abuse, which is why, today, we seek to dissolve the NRA, because no organization is above the law.”

Since 1871, the NRA has operated as a New York-registered 501(c)(4) not-for-profit, charitable corporation. Under state law not-for-profit, charitable corporations are required to register and file annual financial reports with the Charities Bureau in the Office of the Attorney General (OAG). The assets are required to be used in a way that serves the interests of NRA membership and that advance the organization’s charitable mission. However, as today’s complaint lays out, the NRA is alleged to have fostered a culture of noncompliance and disregard for internal controls that led to the waste and loss of millions in assets and contributed to the NRA reaching its current deteriorated financial state. The NRA’s internal policies were repeatedly not followed and were even blatantly ignored by senior leaders. Furthermore, the NRA board’s audit committee was negligent in its duty to ensure appropriate, competent, and judicious stewardship of assets by NRA leadership. Specifically, the committee failed to assure standard fiscal controls, failed to respond adequately to whistleblowers, affirmatively took steps to conceal the nature and scope of whistleblower concerns from external auditors, and failed to review potential conflicts of interest for employees.

NRA’s Culture of Self-Dealing, Mismanagement, and Negligence

The lawsuit alleges that the four men instituted a culture of self-dealing, mismanagement, and negligent oversight at the NRA that was illegal, oppressive, and fraudulent. They overrode and evaded internal controls to allow themselves, their families, favored board members, employees, and vendors to benefit through reimbursed expenses, related party transactions, excess compensation, side deals, and waste of charitable assets without regard to the NRA’s best interests.

When board members challenged LaPierre and others over their financial governance and leadership of the NRA, LaPierre retaliated and turned the board against those who attempted to challenge the illegal behavior.

The complaint lays out numerous other instances in which LaPierre, Phillips, Powell, Frazer, and other executives and board members at the NRA abused their power and illegally diverted or facilitated the diversion of tens of millions of dollars from the NRA. These funds were in addition to millions of dollars the four individual defendants were already receiving in grossly excessive salaries and bonuses that were not in line with the best practices and prudent standards for evaluating and determining compensation.

Wayne LaPierre – Executive Vice-President

In his nearly three decades as executive vice-president, Wayne LaPierre ran the day-to-day operations of the NRA and exploited the organization for his and his family’s financial benefit, and the benefit of a close circle of NRA staff, board members, and vendors. Of note, LaPierre:

  • Spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of the NRA’s charitable assets for private plane trips for himself and his family, including extended family when he was not present.
  • Visited the Bahamas by private air charter at least eight times in an approximate three-year period with his family, at a cost of more than $500,000 to the NRA. On many of those trips, LaPierre and his family were gifted the use of a 107-foot yacht owned by an NRA vendor.
  • Traveled to Africa with his wife for all-expense paid safaris, gifted by an NRA vendor.
  • Spent millions on unwarranted travel consultants for decades, including for the booking of luxury black car services — spending more than $3.6 million in the last two years alone.
  • Secured a post-employment contract for himself with the NRA, without board approval, currently valued at more than $17 million.
  • Allotted several millions of dollars annually in NRA funds for private security costs for himself and his family without sufficient oversight on their use.
  • Received more than $1.2 million in expense reimbursements in just a four-year period for expenditures that included gifts for favored friends and vendors; travel expenses for himself and his family; and membership fees at golf clubs, hotels, and other member clubs.
  • Secured lucrative consulting contracts for ex-employees and board members worth millions.

The complaint alleges that as executive vice-president, LaPierre handpicked individuals in senior staff positions at the NRA that have shown themselves to be loyal to LaPierre as an individual, rather than to the organization. Time and time again, LaPierre has shown that loyalty, more than competence and responsibility, is integral to his staffing picks, which led him to personally hire Phillips, Powell, and Frazer — some chosen despite failing to meet the necessary skills or experience for their respective roles and responsibilities.

Wilson “Woody” Phillips – Former Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer

Woody Phillips — the former treasurer and CFO, who was responsible for managing the books and financial operations of the NRA — engaged in practices that violated NRA policy, lied on financial disclosure forms, and set up a deal worth more than $1 million that benefitted his girlfriend. Just before his retirement in 2018, Phillips obtained a contract for himself worth $1.8 million, purportedly for monthly consulting services to the incoming treasurer, even though the current treasurer knew nothing about this contract and has confirmed that “Woody [Phillips] never consulted for me.” Phillips, having served in the capacity as the chief steward of the organization's finances, also oversaw the financial practices that allowed millions of dollars in entertainment and travel expenses incurred by NRA executives to be fraudulently billed to the NRA as disbursements by the NRA’s largest vendor: Ackerman McQueen, an Oklahoma-based advertising and public relations firm. Furthermore, the complaint asserts that Phillips consistently eschewed his fiduciary duties time and time again, as evidenced by his failure to seriously respond to whistleblower complaints about alleged fiscal improprieties and his readiness to unilaterally authorize payments and contracts outside of the NRA adopted purchasing and contracting policies and procedures.

Joshua Powell – Former Chief of Staff and Executive Director of General Operations

Joshua Powell, the chief of staff to LaPierre, was terminated after just 3.5 years for, among other things, misappropriating NRA funds during his tenure. Powell, who is known as a LaPierre loyalist, received sudden and substantial salary increases almost immediately after starting his position. Within a month, his salary was doubled retroactively to the beginning of his tenure with the NRA to $500,000. After less than a year, Powell’s salary increased to $650,000. A little over two years into the job, Powell’s salary more than tripled from the original $250,000 to $800,000, despite numerous complaints of abusive behavior and evidence of illegal conduct and inappropriate spending. Further, Powell abused the NRA’s policy on housing and relocation reimbursements, pocketing in excess of $100,000 more than NRA rules allowed.

Powell’s tenure was marked by nepotism. LaPierre, Phillips, and Powell also signed off on the hiring of fundraising consultant McKenna & Associates outside of the NRA’s contract process and without going through any approval process. The NRA paid the company more than $5 million over the course of five years. For all of 2018, Powell’s wife was hired as a consultant by McKenna & Associates, and her entire $30,000 monthly consulting fee was passed through the NRA. The hiring of Powell’s wife was hidden from the NRA’s general counsel, in an effort to not draw attention to and affirmatively hide the conflict of interest, and her role was not pre-approved by the NRA board, as the organization’s policy requires. Additionally, Powell requested an NRA vendor to add his father to a rotation of paid photographers, resulting in more than $90,000 in compensation for his father, an expense which was completely passed through to the NRA.

John Frazer – Corporate Secretary and General Counsel

John Frazer was chosen by LaPierre to serve as general counsel and also served as corporate secretary at the NRA. Between 2014 and 2018, Frazer repeatedly failed to comply with board governance procedures, make necessary changes, or advise others that governance changes needed to be made; failed to ensure that financial transactions were being addressed by NRA officers and directors in accordance with law; failed to enforce compliance with the NRA’s conflict of interest policy; and failed to ensure that the NRA was in compliance with laws and policies governing whistleblowers. Additionally, Frazer repeatedly certified false or misleading annual statements.

Ackerman McQueen – NRA’s Public Relations and Advertising Firm

A practice decades-old between LaPierre and Ackerman McQueen’s co-founder — that would continue until the two companies severed ties in 2019 — ensured that Ackerman McQueen would pay for a variety of non-contractual, out-of-pocket expenses for LaPierre and other NRA executives and pass those expenses through to the NRA. The NRA leadership regularly used this pass-through arrangement — where expenses would be paid for by the NRA without written approvals, receipts, or supporting business purpose documentation — to conceal private travel and other costs that were largely personal in nature. Ackerman McQueen would aggregate the expenses into a lump sum amount and provide no details on the nature or purpose of the expenses when billing the NRA for them. The invoices only typically included a one-line description that read “out-of-pocket expenses” and included an invoice total amount. The expenses billed to the NRA for out-of-pocket expenses did not comply with IRS requirements, and, as a result, all such expenses should have been included by the NRA in taxable personal income for LaPierre and other recipients.

Ackerman McQueen was paid more than $70 million in just 2017 and 2018 for “public relations and advertising” services and for “out-of-pocket expenditures” that really went to entertainment and travel incurred by NRA executives and associates without scrutiny from within the organization, including millions for private planes, luxury hotels, memberships to private clubs, special events, fancy meals, and even personal hair and makeup services for LaPierre’s wife.

NRA Audit Committee’s Failure to Audit

Under New York law, the NRA’s audit committee is responsible for overseeing the accounting and financial reporting processes of the organization and the audit of its financial statements, but the culture of noncompliance and disregard for the internal controls is evident within the audit committee. The committee failed to serve as an independent check on LaPierre, his senior staff, and the NRA as a whole, and basically served as a rubber stamp for the organization’s illicit behavior, when it did review finances.

For example, the audit committee is charged with reviewing any contract that has the appearance of a conflict of interest, such as a contracts with insiders referred to as related-party transactions, and must not only perform certain considerations, but also document its deliberations. The committee routinely approved related-party transactions after LaPierre or senior staff entered into such agreements. In fact, in 2018, the audit committee approved seven related-party transactions after the fact, including a contract between the NRA’s then incoming president and Ackerman McQueen. At the time this contract was executed, the terms were known to LaPierre and Phillips, but the audit committee had no knowledge of it. Then, again in 2019 and 2020, the audit committee purportedly approved, retroactively, many other existing NRA contracts, some of which dated back 15 years.

The audit committee’s chair testified during a deposition with the OAG that he had no knowledge of New York law governing audit committees, whistleblowers, or conflicts of interest, and that he could not recall the last time he had seen the audit committee charter that specifically states the audit committee “overs[ees] the integrity of financial information” at the NRA. In fact, the committee chair testified that, in his view and contrary to the charter, the audit committee had no role in oversight of internal controls and that “there is no internal auditing” within the NRA and there hadn’t been one in the whole 19 years he served on the NRA board.

Unsurprisingly, during numerous occasions, the audit committee failed to respond adequately to whistleblowers, failed to appropriately review and approve related-party transactions and conflicts of interest, and failed to adequately oversee external auditors.

Extensive Violations of Fundamental Not-for-Profit Law

Attorney General James alleges in her complaint that the NRA violated multiple laws, including the laws governing the NRA’s charitable status, false reporting on annual filings with the IRS and with the OAG’s Charities Bureau, improper expense documentation, improper wage reporting, improper income tax withholding, failure to make required excise tax reporting and payments, payments in excess of reasonable compensation to disqualified persons, and waste of NRA assets; in direct violation of New York’s Estates, Powers & Trusts Laws; New York’s Not-for-Profit Corporation Law; the New York Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act; and New York’s Executive Law. The illegal nature of the four individual defendants’ action also violated multiple rules of the NRA’s bylaws, the NRA’s employee handbook, and the NRA’s policy manual.

The failure of the NRA to comply with multiple fiduciary responsibilities and state and federal laws resulted in the NRA seeing substantial losses on its balance sheet: going from a surplus of $27,802,714 in 2015 to a net deficit of $36,276,779 in 2018 — contributing to a total loss of more than $64 million in just three years.

Proposed Resolution

As a result of all the allegations mentioned above, Attorney General James seeks to dissolve the NRA; asks the court to order LaPierre, Phillips, Powell, and Frazer to make full restitution for funds they unlawfully profited and salaries earned while employees; pay penalties; recover illegal and unauthorized payments to the four individuals; remove LaPierre and Frazer from the NRA’s leadership (Phillips and Powell are no longer employed by the NRA); and ensure none of the four individual defendants can ever again serve on the board of a charity in New York.

Attorney General James began her inquiry into the NRA in February 2019.

City Parks Foundation - Volunteers Called to Action Across City Parks Saturday August 8th


IMP-act Day: Partnerships for Parks Calls Volunteers & Communities to Action Across City Parks

First Citywide Day of Service for City Parks Volunteers Since the Start of the COVID Crisis

Hundreds of park volunteers will gather across city parks on Saturday, August 8th, for IMP-act Day (It’s My Park Action Day), the first citywide day of service in city parks since the start of the COVID-19 crisis. Led and organized by Partnerships for Parks (PfP), a joint program of NYC Parks and the City Parks Foundation, IMP-act Day will bring together “friends groups” in more than three dozen parks for high-impact beautification,tree-care, and painting projects with new COVID safety protocols. 

These 36+ projects are part of PfP’s It’s My Park program, which engages volunteer groups in hands-on service projects throughout city parks. In previous years, PfP has organized up to hundreds of It’s My Park projects every month, but the program was completely suspended in March due to COVID-19. IMP-act Day will mark the recommencement of It’s My Park programscitywide.

Notable sites include Marcus Garvey Park on Madison Ave, from E 120th St to E 124th St in Manhattan; Fort Greene Park on Myrtle Ave and DeKalb Ave between Washington Park and St. Edward's St in Brooklyn; St. Mary's Park on St. Mary's St between St Ann's Ave and Jackson Ave in the Bronx; Rufus King Park on Jamaica Ave and 89th Ave between 150th St and 153rd St in Queens; and DeMatti Playground on Tompkins Ave between Chestnut St and Shaughnessy La in Staten Island. All projects will take place from 9:00am – 11:00am. 

IMP-act Day comes at a particularly critical time for parks and green spaces as New York City recovers from COVID-19 and faces an economic crisis. This current climate harkens back to the early days of PfP, founded in 1995 to support community groups that had emerged to support neighborhood parks in the wake of the fiscal crisis of the 1970s. With the aid of PfP and NYC Parks staff, these grassroots “friends groups” helped to transform once-neglected parks into thriving community spaces. Every year, It’s My Park programs engage more than 25,000 volunteers, and PfP now supports nearly 600 community groups working to sustain 400 parks across New York City. 

“We welcome our community partners across the city back into local parks to do some much-needed cleaning and beautification work on IMP-act Day,” said Hannah Gall, director of the Volunteer Program at Partnerships for Parks. “Community support will be crucial in the coming months and years to ensure our parks remain clean, green, and vital.”

“Our parks volunteers embody the spirit of caring and love that make community parks much more than just open spaces,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP. “As our city recovers from COVID-19, community-building events like IMP-act Day demonstrate how far we’ve come – and the incredible work New Yorkers are willing to do to support the Greatest City (and the Greatest Parks Department) in the world.”

“It has never been more clear that parks are essential for the health and well-being of our city,” said City Parks Foundation Executive Director Heather Lubov. "Our green spaces are where we reflect, play, and connect, and where communities come together to build a better world. On IMP- act Day, New Yorkers will join their neighbors to care for their local parks, volunteering in green spaces safely and supporting their city.”

For a complete list of projects, please visit our website
About Partnerships for Parks: Partnerships for Parks is a unique public-private partnership between City Parks Foundation and NYC Parks that supports and champions neighborhood volunteers by giving them the tools they need to advocate and care for their neighborhood parks and green spaces. More information about Partnership for Parks is available at

Mayor de Blasio on Con Edison Update, COVID-19, and Test and Trace 8-7-2020

  Mayor Bill de Blasio: I'm going to go through it all very quickly. First, most important – look we are now five months into the coronavirus crisis. The most central thing we can do in New York City is keep ourselves healthy, keep the infection rate low in this city. If we get that part right, and New Yorkers have been heroes, fighting back against this disease, we keep this at a low level. Everything else becomes possible. Restarting our city, restarting our economy. It all depends on this. So, we're going to talk about several things today, but one very, very important piece of the equation is the offense here. The force that we've put together, the fight back against the disease, the Test and Trace Corps. We're going to talk about the latest on that and how it's helping us keep that infection level low.


But I want to first talk about a couple of other really important pieces that are happening today that we need to talk about. First of all, question of evictions – this is on the minds of thousands and thousands of New Yorkers. People just trying to keep a roof over their head. Look, we have some good news today and I want to thank Governor Cuomo. He signed an executive order extending some of the protections against eviction for tenants as a result of COVID-19. Now we need the court system to play the role. So, I'm calling on the State court system. Please aggressively follow up on this executive order to protect tenants who simply can't pay the rent because they lost their income due to the greatest crisis in generations. We need the court system to come in and then we need the State in general to address the bigger questions here. These eviction moratoriums. It should not be something that just has to be renewed all the time. This needs to be ongoing for the extent of this crisis, and then for several months thereafter, as people hopefully consistently get back on their feet and have the money to pay the rent, but really what we need as part of the stimulus, we need tenant assistance. We need rental assistance to help people get by and we need the state to pass a law, giving tenants the ability to pay the rent when they can, if they don't have any income, what can they do? But for those who don't have income, giving them the opportunity to go on a payment plan and pay back when they do that's right for tenants and landlords alike. We need state action on that front.


Now let's talk about so much has happened last few days with the storm that hit this city, Isaias. First of all, the ongoing power outages. This is an unacceptable situation. Con Ed continues to be unclear in their response, and this is something we've seen before, and I really wish Con Ed would get the memo that they have to be clear in their game plan for New Yorkers. People are depending on this power. The power has come back on consistently. I want to give that credit, but what I'm not happy about is a lack of clarity and speed about the next steps for the people of the five boroughs. So right now just about 57,000 households do not have power in New York City as a result of the storm earlier in the week, from the latest we've heard from Con Ed, they are still sticking to the notion. They will add another 15-20,000 restorations today. So another 15-20,000 homes we'll get their power back today, based on the estimates we've gotten from Con Ed, I want to see that number greatly intensify – telling people by the end of Sunday is not a good answer. We need to see that speed up, certainly for the vast majority of households and we'll keep Con Ed's feet to the fire, and we have urged them to move faster, but also offer whatever help they need.


Also you should know, separate, totally separate from the storm. Earlier in the week, there was an early morning outage affecting over a hundred thousand customers. That was a new outage. It appears to have been weather related from weather activity last night, but all of those customers have been restored. So that was a very brief outage.


Now there's other damage, of course, from the storm. This is the worst wind we have seen since Sandy and we saw the worst wind damage since Sandy. We are working with the state right now, and I certainly want to call on the state to authorize an emergency declaration given what's happened in New York City, given what happened in Long Island, this certainly should be a state of emergency, and then that would help us to activate FEMA support and funding. Now, some people reached out to me and said, could FEMA come in? And FEMA is not in a position to come in with a lot of resources that would have an immediate impact in this kind of event. They often coordinate the resources of other local and state entities, but what they can help with for sure is reimbursement for the cost. So we need a state declaration of emergency. We need FEMA funding to cover the very real costs of this cleanup. Now, today we will have over 1,000 city, state, National Guard, and private contractors working to clear the tree damage. So that's a substantial number of personnel will be out there from a wide range of city agencies, Parks Department, Department of Environmental Protection, Police Department, Fire Departments, Sanitation Department, a number of agencies are getting involved combined efforts over a thousand personnel out Con Ed has apparently about 550 personnel out.


Our first concern of course is safety. There are still places where there are real safety issues cause of down power lines. That has to be the priority to get those lines secured, protect people's lives. We also need streets to be cleared. At this point, there's been a number of streets cleared, but there's still 280 streets blocked in New York City. We will have over 200 of those resolved by the end of the day, according to the latest information from the Parks Department, the rest we expect to be resolved hopefully on Saturday. So, a lot to do there, but keep moving forward.


But now back to the central issue that has been gripping our lives for the last five months, how we fight this virus, how we keep it from spreading, how we stop a resurgence, New Yorkers have been heroes, you've been amazing. The whole country is looking with admiration in New York City for the way we fought back, and Test and Trace is a crucial piece of the equation. Again, this is this army of over 3,000 hardworking people out there every day in communities on the phones, finding people, helping people, reaching people, literally stopping thousands of new infections with their work, and it's an army that's growing, and part of the magic here is not just to say we need you to get tested, but also if you are testing positive to get you to help you need, if you have to safely separate from others. So amazing hit rate, so far amazing success. 92 percent of all positive cases have been reached. Thousands, we now estimate over 5,000 potential coronavirus cases, averted, meaning 5,000 more people that would have been infected were not because the folks who tested positive were safely separated from the folks around them, but we got a lot more to do. We know big, big things coming on. Flu season's coming colder weather people more indoors, school coming back. A lot of hits, so Test and Trace will be more important than ever, and when Test and Trace calls you, it means someone is calling not only trying to stop the disease from spreading and protect you and your family, but they're trying to give you help that if you need to safely separate, we will be with you every step of the way, and the leading the charge, the leader of this piece of the effort, making sure that people get smart, compassionate, resourceful care for whatever they need to get through that period of isolation and get healthy again, the Director of the Take Care Initiative of Test and Trace, Dr. Amanda Johnson. Welcome doctor.


Director Amanda Johnson, Take Care New York: Thank you so much, Mr. Mayor. As the Mayor mentioned, the Take Care arm of the Test and Trace course responsible for ensuring that New Yorkers have what they need to safely separate. To date this program has looked like helping New Yorkers connect with a hotel so that they have a physical space and the amenities that they need to prevent spreading the virus to their loved ones, their roommates, their family, their friends, and for New Yorkers who choose to complete isolation and quarantine at home we'll deliver you the services that you need to do so from the comfort of your own home. We are really pleased to announce that starting next week, we'll actually be able to deliver you the supplies that you need to complete your safe separation in the form of our Take Care package.


So I'm going to walk you through the contents of this package, some of which are going to be familiar to you. So having the weathered the storm over the past five months you'll know that this is a medical grade mask that you can use to protect yourself from the other people who reside in your homes, and we've also included hand sanitizer for you. Nothing takes the place of washing your hands as frequently as possible, but I just want to take a moment to remark on how impressive it is that we're being able to deliver a hand sanitizer and masks at a time where we would not have been able to do so five months ago. We also have antibacterial wipes so that you're able to clean the surfaces so that you reduce the risk of transmitting the virus to people who share your household. We're also including two items to help you with monitoring your health during the time that you're isolating quarantining. One is a disposable thermometer. This is really important because your contact tracers going to call you and ask you about your symptoms, and we specifically want to know if you've registered any fever over the past day. This will help us ensure that when it comes time for you to exit your safe separation, you're able to do so at the appropriate time. We've also included a medical device in the kits that we're going to be sending to cases – so the people who have been confirmed positive for COVID. This is a pulse oximeter. It gives you two very useful pieces of information. One of which is your heart rate. The other is your oxygen level – the level of oxygen saturation in your blood, this information is really important because a low oxygen saturation can be an early warning sign that you need to seek additional medical attention. You can have a low oxygen saturation without even feeling breathless, so we're really pleased that we're able to include this so that you have the information you need to be able to escalate care when the time comes – when and if the time comes. We've also through the generosity of a couple of donors, been able to include a couple things, to make the duration of safe separation, more engaging, and more productive. So we're really appreciative to Kind for the inclusion of a couple of Kind bars in the Take Care package, and we'd also like to thank Microsoft for providing information about how to access online workshops and training. I know that was a lot of information but we've also included a booklet in the Take Care package so that you can go over the resources that are included and also find information about how to connect with other services that you might need during the time of your safe separation. This package is going to be translated into 13 additional languages as well.


We understand that being able to safely separate comes down to more than just tools. It's about building relationships with your contact tracer, with your resource navigator, so that they can help you get the services that you need to safely separate, particularly if you choose to do so at home. We're really proud of the work that the 15 community-based organizations who form our core of over 200 resource navigators – the relationships they've built to help people get the services they need while they're safely separating at home. These tireless 200+ resource navigators have fielded over 8,000 calls to people who have needed services, people who have reached out to us during this really critical time. They've been able to connect individuals to about 5,000+ city services, including prescription medication delivery, as well as mental health services, and we've been able to enable 2,000 individuals to receive food delivery in their homes.


I want to take this moment to extend my appreciation to all the New Yorkers out there who have been participating in the Test and Trace Corps so far. So if you've gone out and you've gotten tested, if you've picked up the phone, when your contact tracer has called you, if you've given information about your contact so we can help them know their status and help them safely separate, I am indebted to you, and I'm also very grateful for everybody who has made the sacrifice to safely separate at home or hotel so that we can break the chains of transmission and stop the virus in its tracks. Thank you so much, and I'm going to turn it back to the Mayor.


Mayor: Thank you so much, Dr. Johnson, excellent report, and look, everyone, just think about what Dr. Johnson has been over there. There's a very, very comprehensive, extensive effort to get people whatever support they need. We're not saying to people, hey, you're on your own. Quite the opposite. We're saying we're going to be with you every step of the way. In fact, if you engage with the Test and Trace effort, you're going to have a lot of support, a lot of compassion, a lot of creativity to get you the help you need, and it just makes so much sense that if folks know they're going to be supported, they will do more to safely separate from others, and that will stop the spread of disease. This effort is going to be even more important as we go into the fall. So thank you doctor for your great work and your team's work.


And look, we are ever vigilant about this disease. So we also are recognizing that while we're serving the folks in this city who need to safely separate, we're also very keenly aware of folks traveling in or New Yorkers who have been to one of the 35 states, where there are problems coming back. They need the Test and Trace Corps too. They need support in quarantining. They need information, and we're going to do that in a lot of ways. One of the things we're doing is our checkpoints, and we announced them earlier this week, and this is crucial. This is both to help people give them information, let them know how important it is. If they're in the situation, according to state law, where they should quarantine that this is how you do it, and this is the help you will receive. But it also will spread the word to all New Yorkers and all visitors that this is really, really serious. So the checkpoints began with that clear message, positive message: we're here to help, but we got to make sure everyone takes this seriously. I want to thank everyone at the Sheriff's Office. They've been doing an outstanding job. The first stops were about 200 vehicles just as a test run. That number is going to grow greatly this weekend. But unquestionably, it will help to reach thousands and thousands of people as individuals. But I think millions of people get the message because of these checkpoints that these quarantines must be honored for the good of all.


Let me take us now to our daily indicators. And again, this makes the point how the discipline, the focus, the hard work of New Yorkers, everything we've been doing including test and trace, especially is keeping these numbers low. So first, daily number of people admitted to hospitals for suspected COVID-19, threshold, 200 patients, today's report 79 patients. Number two, daily the number of Health + Hospitals ICUs, 375 patients is the threshold, 302 is the number today. And most importantly, people testing positive citywide for COVID, threshold 15 percent, today's report one percent. Excellent number and congratulations to all. 

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Mayor de Blasio on Storm Damage, Electricity Outages, and COVID-19 Update 8-6-2020

  Mayor Bill de Blasio: Good morning, everyone. You know, these last five months, New Yorkers have been fighting this battle against the coronavirus, fighting the battle against the economic crisis, the hunger crisis, all the things we've been dealing with at once, and I know people have felt often alone. This has been a tough, tough time. So many challenges in everyone's personal life, family life, work life, you name it. But I also mean that people felt alone because New York City's had to stand on its own. 


We'll come back to that in a moment. But first back to the economic crisis, back to the pain that so many families are feeling. So many New Yorkers simply can't pay the rent. It's not their fault, that they didn't ask for a global pandemic, but if you don't get a paycheck, if you don't have a paycheck, what are you going to do? The last number I heard was 1.3 million New York City residents had filed for unemployment benefits in the course of this crisis. 1.3 million people – that represents families, so millions more effected by that. If you don't have a source of income, how the hell are you going to pay the rent? It's as simple as that, and on top of that, people are trying to get food, medicine, you name it. So, there have been eviction moratoriums over these last few months and that's been right because the last thing we want to see is a lot of people put out on the street, the last thing when I see is people flooding into our shelter system, but the eviction moratorium expired at midnight last night, and that is a huge problem for the people of New York City, and it must be addressed, and I'm going to say again, in these next weeks, you're going to hear a lot from me calling upon our State government to create a new system, to allow those who simply cannot pay for lack of income, to be able to have a payment plan model that will take them into next year, allow them to pay off the rent over time when they finally have resources. But no one should be put out on the street because they can't pay. They literally can't pay. So, while we're fighting that battle in Albany, right now I want to tell all New Yorkers who are threatened with eviction, that if you need help call 3-1-1, because we want to get you help. We can get you legal support and that really can help stop an eviction. Here to tell you about it is someone who's devoted his life to keeping people in their housing, our Commissioner for Social Services, Steve Banks.


Commissioner Steven Banks, Department of Social Services: Thank you very much. Look, as the Mayor said, eviction cases are now being filed. No actual evictions are moving forward right now because of an order of the court, but we're not waiting. We reached out to 14,000 people who had eviction warrants pre-COVID, to let them know that legal help is available. So, if you're somebody that's got an eviction warrant, as the Mayor said, call 3-1-1 and we can help you. We've also been paying back-rent through emergency renter grants. A sad fact is tens of thousands of people can't pay their rent. They were struggling before COVID, and now, as the Mayor said, they've lost their jobs, they've lost the ability to pay their rent, and to add insult to injury the Republican leadership in the Congress and the Senate has allowed the cutoff of the $600 a week in unemployment supplemental funds that was so essential for keeping people in their homes. But, you know, behind these cold numbers are devastating human costs. I remember when I was a housing lawyer at Legal Aid, how heartbreaking it was to talk to families in shelter who had been evicted in cases in which a lawyer could have kept them in their homes, and the impact on children in these cases is particularly harsh. And that's why New York City did something about this to prevent evictions through the first in the nation, Right-to-Counsel law. It drove down evictions pre-COVID by 41 percent while evictions were going up all over the country, and that's why it's critical that we've got legal help in place to address this new crisis. So, call 3-1-1, if you need legal help. But as the Mayor said, there's so much more we can do. We need help from Washington. We need help from Albany to extend the moratorium, and in the federal stimulus bill, we clearly need to provide rental assistance to help struggling families pay their rent in this period of time that the Mayor spoke so directly about. Mayor, I’m going to turn it back to you.


Mayor: I want to thank you, Steve, and everyone at Social Services for the work they are doing. Those 14,000 New York City families right now, who are on the brink – thank you for not waiting, but for reaching out to them to offer help, to do everything in our power to keep them in their homes. But look again, the bigger solutions reside in Albany with a law to allow people to have a payment plan, the best solution resides in Washington, D.C. Rental assistance for everyone who's lost their job so they can keep their home and landlords have the money to keep up their buildings. 


All right, on another very important point. Thousands of New Yorkers right now are suffering because the power is still not back on. And look, I think we've all been frustrated over the years. We depend on Con Edison and we don't always get the answers we need and the follow through we need. I've been pushing Con Edison over the last few days on what they're doing. I spoke to the President of Con Edison in New York City, Tim Cawley, earlier today. And I said, first of all, we, the City of New York, anything we can do to help with our agencies, we want to do. And we have a lot of our agencies out there right now, clearing trees and trying to assist in every way. But Con Ed is of course the only folks that can actually put the power back on. Originally Con Ed had said that they were going to need until Sunday. And I think that was very distressing to lots of New Yorkers. Who wants to wait that long? Why should you have to wait that long?


So, based on conversation this morning, I have an update for you. First of all, where this started, once the winds died down after the hurricane, there were 180,000 customers in New York City that did not have power. Con Ed has restored 110,000 of those. So, there's about 70,000 households and customers left. They project today that they will restore between 15,000 and 20,000 of those customers. And then again, tomorrow between 15,000 and 20,000 of those customers. So, what I'm pushing for is that more than half of the outstanding households will be resolved by tomorrow, not Sunday, by tomorrow. And then everything else followed up on rapidly from then. We're going to keep pushing because we just can't have people wait that long. It's not fair. And the City of New York will do everything in our power to make sure that Con Ed keeps moving and gives people back their power, especially with everything else going on.


Okay, let's go to our indicators. Number one, daily number of people admitted to hospitals for suspected COVID-19, threshold 200 patients, today's report 75 patients. Number two, daily number of people in Health + Hospitals ICUs, threshold 375, today's report 303. And number three, percentage of people testing positive citywide for COVID-19, threshold 15 percent, today's report, the best ever, one percent. That's an amazing number. And that's again, because of you. Because of your hard work, stick to it.