Commission accepts resignation of Morgan City Housing Authority executive director
MORGAN CITY, La. — The Morgan City Housing Authority board of commissioners accepted the resignation of Charles Spann as its executive director at a called board meeting Wednesday afternoon.
Commission chairman Victory Ho said he has begun talking to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development seeking guidance and counsel on hiring an interim director.
“We are in bad condition,” Ho said. “We need a very strong interim director to put us in the right direction.”
The board authorized Ho and board member Jerome Guidry to begin the process to employ an interim and permanent executive director.
Spann’s contract expired May 22. He has spent the past four weeks weathering a storm of questions over a critical legislative audit released on May 13. Spann accepted responsibility for the “failures” mentioned in the audit.
Spann had been at the helm of the agency since 2007. He had served briefly as interim director in 2005. By his account, Spann demolished many of the buildings in disrepair and had “renovated, repaired and placed back on the rental market” more than 100 homes for clients on a waiting list of low income and disabled families.
His stint as executive director marked a period of stability at the top for the housing authority, unlike the six years before his 2007 contract.
In 2001, the housing authority was told by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that it had exhibited “serious overall deficiencies” in governance and management. The authority then went through two full time executive directors, two interim executive directors and a brief oversight by M.D. Strum Housing Services of Indianapolis.
The housing authority has been mired in “troubled” status with HUD, except for years that it received a waiver because of hurricanes.
A 2010 fiscal year audit, also prepared by Kolder, Champagne, Slaven & Company, stated there was evidence in the board minutes of problems with solicitations and acceptance of purchase prices being presented to the board for approval; some were not properly solicited as required by the procurement policy.
The auditors said “contracts were entered into with no evidence of quotes and/or bids being obtained and no evidence … of the solicitations … of the purchase prices being presented to the board for approval. Also, the expenditures tested were not publically advertised.”
The 2010 audit pointed out that the “authority had one employee living in the complex paying $50 a month. There is no evidence that living in a public housing unit is a condition of his/her job.”