9/11 Injury-Fund Overseer Quits

Hideous. - Jon

Source: nypost.com

By SUSAN EDELMAN

January 9, 2008 -- The controversial head of the fund set up to pay medical expenses for 9/11 heroes - who has fought nearly every claim while collecting a $350,000-a- year salary - is stepping down.

Christine LaSala, president and CEO of the $1 billion World Trade Center Captive Insurance Co., submitted her resignation effective July 1 - or as soon as a replacement is found.

Sources told The Post yesterday that LaSala, 57 - who has also been condemned for spending exorbitant sums on lawyers and consultants - was pressured to leave by the Bloomberg administration, which governs the fund.

But the city Law Department issued a statement denying she was forced out, adding, "the city deeply regrets [her] departure."

She declined to comment beyond issuing a statement saying: "After nearly four years at the WTC Captive, I have concluded that this is an appropriate point to resume my retirement."

Her resignation comes a month after The Post reported that the fund for rescue and recovery workers spent more than $100 million, mainly on high-priced lawyers and consultants, as of Sept. 30. But it paid out just $320,000 to six workers with orthopedic injuries.

She also came under fire after the embarrassing disclosure that the fund picked up a $1,390 tab for cocktails for six at Sir Harry's in the Waldorf-Astoria and dinner for eight at posh Giovanni Ristoranti. The guests were lawyers and Captive executives.

When confronted with receipts, the fund said it would ask the lawyers to pay back the liquor costs.

In her statement, LaSala praised herself for "prudent management" of the fund.

LaSala's departure comes as Manhattan federal judge Alvin Hellerstein steps up efforts to settle 8,600 claims of respiratory or toxic injuries.

Congress members in New York welcomed her exit.

"If the Captive is going to keep refusing sick workers' claims, it would be cheaper just to buy a rubber stamp," said Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan).

"The hundreds of thousands of dollars she's been paid over the last several years could have done a world of good for suffering 9/11 heroes."

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, whose district includes Ground Zero, blasted "a process that has been too slow and cumbersome to help those who need help."

susan.edelman@nypost.com

Unbelievable and yet typical

You mean to tell us that she has paid out $100 million in legal and operational cost and only $320,000. in claims, while GZ heros are dying lonely and penniless?!! That has to be the most disgusting thing we have heard in a long time and we have heard a lot of disgusting things.

Ouch...

that's damning. $100 million vs $320,000...

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Wow what an insult to many many people

The right vs wrong list and who will choose what, seems to gain clarity in its enormity daily :(

What a sad , sad thing.

This is way beyond incompentnce--it is fraud & theft! People

need to be indicted & go to prison for embezzlement, theft of funds, swindling dying people, & a host of other crimes, starting with Christine LaSala herself!!!

How the hell could it be that $100 million was paid to lawyers & consultants, yet pocket change of $360 grand went to victims??? This is some fraudulent racketeering operation!!!

$313 for me, $1 for you!!!

It's been the oligarchs M/O for some time to line their pockets and to hell with the intended purpose of the fund!

I believe, it's their intention from the start to conduct themselves with total self-interest. Let's see, $313 for me, $1 for you.

Do we need more of the same to face the truth of our govenment's utter moral bankruptcy--local--as well as federal!

...don't believe them!