NYCHA CEO steps down after arsenic scare

Greg Russ is out as CEO of the New York City Housing Authority, just days after a scare at the Jacob Riis Houses in the Bronx over arsenic in the complex's water supply.

Russ was originally hired by Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2019.Mayor Eric Adams announced that Russ would step down Thursday, but said he would continue to serve as Chair of NYCHA's Board of Directors. 

 Earlier this month, the city had warned the roughly 3,900 residents of the Jacob Riis Houses that there were unsafe levels of arsenic in the tap water, but later walked back the claim, saying that the lab that had tested the water made a mistake.

RELATED: Water at NYCHA complex is safe to drink: Mayor

Two investigations have been launched to look into exactly what happened at the complex, while residents have filed a $10M lawsuit against the city.

Critics say that the issues at NYCHA aren't down to a single person or administration.

"We all know he wasn't the problem," Carmen Quiñones, President of the Tenant Association at the Frederick Douglass Houses said. "There's no different outcome. And the only outcome is going to be when the residents have management privileges, to run their own development and that's really what it's gonna take."

Mayor Adams says the city is launching a nationwide search for someone to permanently replace Russ, but in the meantime, Lisa Bova-Hiatt, NYCHA's Executive Vice President of Legal Affairs and General Counsel will take over as CEO beginning Monday.