A mysterious letter seemingly written by an employee inside BMHA appeared in Housing Commissioner Joe Mascia’s mailbox earlier this week. The letter questions the education credentials of the agency’s Assistant Executive Director, Modesto Candelario. The letter makes the claim that he lacks a college degree and questions whether he has a high school diploma.
The Buffalo Chronicle is unable to authenticate the letter. It appears below.
Candelario has come under intense scrutiny for his part in BMHA’s long entrenched dysfunction. Sources say that he was a central player in the ouster of the agency’s entire accounting staff. The entity, with over a $40 million budget, has gone without an accountant for the past three years, deliberately.
Candelario’s wife, Lucy, is the director of the Belle Center, a community center on the lower West Side that is run by an entity called Erie Regional. The Center’s board of directors includes many of the same Mayoral appointees to BMHA’s board of commissioners, including Dawn Sanders-Garrett, Michael Seaman, and Candelario himself.
Candelario did not properly disclose his obvious conflict of interest during the selection process that hired his wife as the Executive Director that center. Commissioner Yvonne Martinez attended the meeting that appointed Mrs. Candelario to the position of Executive Director. While being presented to the board, Mrs. Candelario’s last name was not mentioned once. That position was never posted publicly, as is required of federally funded programs. The hiring process was not compliant with applicable preference policies.
“All he’s ever worried about was himself and his net worth.To take advantage of his position as Assistant Director of BMHA and board member of Erie Regional to overlook other qualified candidates to hire his wife is disgraceful. To think that she is the only qualified Latino to hold that position is ludicrous,” says Commissioner Joe Mascia.
Candelario has said at public meetings, towards tenants, that “you people should be happy you have a roof, heat, and water.” The comments show a lack of character, says Mascia.
On Facebook, Candelario claims to have studied at the University at Buffalo. He never completed a degree. Rumor has it that he is currently taking online courses. Facebook says he began his studies in 2011, six years after he was hired in his current administrative role.
His salary — funded out of BMHA’s federally funded operating budget — is set at $125,000 annually.
His LinkedIn profile, albeit minimal, does not list any education credentials and does not detail his employment history.