Cairo's mayor calls for 2 county housing board members' resignations

Cairo's mayor calls for 2 county housing board members' resignations

ALEXANDER COUNTY, IL (KFVS) - Cairo's mayor wants two members of the Alexander County Housing Authority Board to step down, but they say they won't.

Mayor Tyrone Coleman said he called for the resignation of the Alexander County Housing Authority Board Chairman Andy Clarke and board member Monica Smith on Jan. 14, 2016 but, Clarke said they plan on continuing their duties on the board.

Coleman said he called for the Clarke's resignation because "of the previous chairman on the board's misuse of funds and the political and social affiliation with former Mr. Wilson, the former director."

Coleman wants to make sure whoever is selected as the next executive director has the experience and qualifications it takes to do the job.

Clarke said it would be a personal decision to leave board. Clarke said he still has four and a half more years on the board and started on the board January of 2016.

Following complaints, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development conducted a detailed investigation in 2014 on the properties and their management.

Findings show "significant misuse of funds" by the ACHA, and explain that financial records reveal the ACHA to be in violation of several state and federal laws.

According to the Federal Investigation into the Alexander County Housing Authority, money that was supposed to go to 300 Cairo, Ill. residents went to traveling, training and consulting fees.

The ACHA has gone without a director and has been said to "cripple the organization's ability to make a plan of action."

The housing authority's board will have a meeting at the ACHA on Tuesday, Jan. 19 at 9 a.m. The board plans to accept or deny the hiring of candidate Jason Ashmore, as the new executive director.

The federally funded Alexander County Housing Authority would pay the salary of the new executive director. Clarke said the position would start immediately and would report to the board as needed.

Clarke said the Alexander Board of Commissioners appoint individuals to oversee the housing authority.

"If the Housing and Urban Development office decides to decline funds they would seriously jeopardize the life and safety of the residents of the Alexander County Housing," Clarke said.

The Alexander Housing Authority Board handpicked the candidate that they wish to employ.

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