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Queens Chronicle

Kathryn Mallon, head of Hurricane Sandy recovery program Build it Back, resigns

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Posted: Thursday, February 20, 2014 4:41 pm | Updated: 11:59 am, Thu Feb 27, 2014.

Kathryn Mallon, the head of the city’s problem-plagued Hurricane Sandy recovery program, Build it Back, abruptly resigned last week. 

Previously an assistant commissioner at the city Department of Environmental Protection in charge of capital projects, Mallon was chosen by former Mayor Bloomberg to lead the city’s Rapid Repairs program, created two weeks after Sandy and was tasked with heading Build it Back when it was created last June. 

Just this month, Mallon met with Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway Park) and civic leaders in his office to discuss issues with Build it Back, including changing the way people enrolled in the program are prioritized. Build it Back was also criticized for being slow to release funds. Less than 2 percent of the $1.5 billion allocated to the program has been released, according to city records. 

Despite the problems with the two programs she ran, its sharpest critics, including Goldfeder and Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park), often praised Mallon for her accessibility/ 

“[I’m] really sorry to see Kathryn Mallon go, but I think Mayor de Blasio will keep Sandy recovery a priority,” Goldfeder said on Twitter.

Several sources say Mallon resigned on her own accord and was not removed by Mayor de Blasio. At an unrelated press conference in Maspeth Thursday morning, de Blasio thanked Mallon for her service, but did not say who would be replacing her.

She is the second high-level official involved in Sandy recovery to resign in this month. Brad Gair, the former director of housing recovery operations for the mayor’s office, left for a job with New York University several weeks ago. 

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