Contractor Says City Has Agreed to Pay Up For Sandy Work

Peter Haskell
November 08, 2019 - 11:20 am
Gary Casazza

Peter Haskell/WCBS 880

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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- Gary Casazza may finally be paid for work he did after Superstorm Sandy.

The contractor told WCBS 880's Peter Haskell that he was owed $1 million from the city's Build It Back program, and that the red tape is choking him.

"Many times and when I say many, I mean hundreds of times, perhaps even thousands, we were told to correct paperwork. We corrected that paperwork, we would give it back to the city and we still were not paid," said Casazza.

As a last resort, he sent letters to the owners for 20 homes he rebuilt or repaired after Sandy.

"I prepared paperwork to file liens and inform the homeowners that I was going to do this," Casazza said.

He saw it as a last resort.

"But I'm left with no legal alternative," he said, adding that his goal was to get the city's attention. "I feel terrible to put that lien on the homeowners' property, because it's not the homeowners who should be paying me, it's the City of New York."

Homeowners contacted their elected officials, and lo and behold, the city called.

"There was pressure put on City Hall to react and I'm very happy to say they did react," said Cassaza. 

The city has said they are going to go ahead with payments that are due, although Cassaza knows this won't happen overnight.

"There's a tremendous amount of paperwork that's associated — proof of work performed, a lot of documentation — before I get paid," said Cassaza.