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Nutter Says He’ll Wait For Housing Authority Probe Before Demanding Resignations

(The PHA board, last September.  File photo by KYW's Mike Dunn)

(The PHA board, last September. File photo by KYW’s Mike Dunn)

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter says he wants federal officials to come up with documentation on why the five-member board of the Philadelphia Housing Authority should resign.

He expects a pending audit will provide the firepower, but will hold off on joining the call for resignations until that report comes in.

US Department of Housing and Urban Development deputy secretary Ron Sims says the entire five-member PHA board should leave, to “restore confidence” in the agency (related story).  The call follows the firing of longtime executive director Carl Greene over sexual harassment allegations (related story), and ongoing federal probes (related story).

Nutter says he’s not privy to all of the federal probes, which include one by the FBI, one by Congress, and a HUD forensic audit of PHA operations.

“This kind of call is an extraordinary step by HUD,” said Nutter.  “I’m quite sure that this was not a step that was taken lightly.”

The mayor appoints two of the five PHA board members.  Right now they include Philadelphia councilwoman Jannie Blackwell (third from left in phot0), who is serving an expired term.  At this point Mayor Nutter has declined to replace her or reappoint her.

Former mayor John Street (second from right), who is chairman of the PHA board, appointed himself before he left office. His term expires later this year.

Nutter says he advocates changing the structure of the PHA board.  The mayor of Philadelphia is the only mayor in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania who does not appoint all or control a majority of the appointments to the local housing board.

Reported by Steve Tawa, KYW Newsradio 1060.

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