Friday, March 18, 2011

Federal auditor calls PHA legal payouts 'outrageous'

Michael P. Stephens, the acting Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development, who is responsible for a great deal of the funding for the Philadelphia Housing Authority said on Thursday: "Having reviewed many housing authorities over the years, it is clear that the board and executive director of the Philadelphia Housing Authority tremendously abused their positions".

While this comes as no surprise to many of us, it signifies a slippery slope that has been made famous in cities like Washington, D.C. where local jurisdictions and states don't provide the proper oversight and integrity monitoring for it's own agencies...resulting in a federal takeover. While I am happy and relieved that HUD risked political fallout and stepped in to stop the graft and abuse at PHA, I can't help but wonder where the PHA Inspector General, the Philadelphia Inspector General, the State Attorney General, and the two opposing city council members were while $11M was being given to Ballard Spahr and $967K was being given to the "victims" of Carl Greene's sexual harassment complaints?

Folks, my point is that the waste, fraud, and abuse extends FAR beyond PHA. When a former mayor who was known for federal corruption probes heads a allegedly corrupt PHA board that includes a ranking city council member, the WIFE of a congressman (who recently had a search warrant served on his home and is an integral member of the Democratic political "machine"), and had appointed a Director that spent public dollars to keep his unwanted sexual advances quiet; you have a problem that cannot run "under the radar". Therefore, it's reasonable to assert that many powerful members of our government, from city hall to Congressman Brady knew that this type abuse was going on at PHA and did nothing to stop it until the Greene scandal surfaced.

Either they assumed that the public was too apathetic to catch them or they had no respect for the underprivileged segment of the public they served, but it's wrong to think that $12 Million couldn't be spent in ways that would serve PHA's core mission of creating safe, stable low income housing for low-income Philadelphians...not ridiculous legal bills and swanky staff retreats in the country.

See more in the below linked story:
Federal auditor calls PHA legal payouts 'outrageous'

No comments:

Post a Comment