Two New York City housing professionals assigned to a Manhattan homeless shelter have resigned after asking shelter residents to lend them money so city employees can pay their rent, according to a Conflicts of Interest Board ruling issued Tuesday.
Jacqueline Brown Fernandez was a city homeless services employee who was assigned to the Catherine Street shelter in Manhattan in the spring and summer of 2019.
In her role, she was expected to help a resident of the shelter find permanent housing.
But as Brown-Fernandez admitted in papers published by the council, “(In) October 2019 I asked the client to loan me $500 so that I could pay the rent.” The resident lent her the amount, which she paid back the following month.
A few weeks later, Brown Fernandez admitted that she had taken another $130 loan to pay off her phone bill. The client loaned her the money, and she paid it back later.
She agreed to resign from management as punishment for violating city charter rules for public officials using their office for personal gain.
Marilyn Olan, a second-town housing specialist at the same shelter, resigned in a settlement with the Board of Disputes after admitting she twice asked a shelter resident for a total of $1,900 in loans, for rent and other bills. In this case, the evaluator rejected both requests.