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John Street in the Hot Seat as Carl Greene’s Lawsuit Against PHA Plays Out

By Paul Kurtz

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Former Philadelphia mayor John Street was on the witness stand again today, testifying for the defense in Carl Greene’s lawsuit against the Philadelphia Housing Authority.

Greene, the former head of the PHA, is asking for a million dollars in lost salary and benefits, plus damages, for wrongful termination (see related story).

After more than a day of sparring with Greene’s attorney, Street — the former Housing Authority board chairman — answered questions from his own lawyer about his investigation that led to Greene’s dismissal.

Street testified that he began having his doubts about Greene after sexual harrasment allegations surfaced in August of 2010.

“The more I read, the more appalled I became,” said Street, who mentioned four cases that were settled.  Each woman had described a similar pattern of behavior by their boss (see related story).

In addition, Street said, tax liens and a threatened foreclosure of Greene’s home  reflected poorly on the agency that is the city’s biggest landlord (see related story).

Tension at times have boiled over in the courtroom this week, with Street and Greene’s attorney, Clifford Haines, going at it a number of times.

(Haines:) “What do mean, ‘He may have said something about…’ ?”

(Street:) “He may have said something about it.  I don’t remember the context of the conversation I had with him. You don’t like that answer, but that’s the answer.”

Haines and defense attorney Steven Engelmyer also traded barbs, prompting Judge Ronald Buckwalter to step in and reprimand both men.

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