Former ACHA executive director files lawsuit, claims non-payment

ACHA executive director removed by HUD

CAIRO, IL (KFVS) - The Alexander County Housing Authority and board of directors are being sued by the former executive director.

Sesser Mayor Jason Ashmore filed a lawsuit claiming the housing authority and board of directors owe him $9,518.40 for not paying him while he was executive director.

A hearing will be held on Friday, August 19.

Ashmore was appointed the leader of the ACHA in mid-January when the five-member ACHA board voted him in.

The board made the appointment despite being asked by the ACHA's governing body, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, to reconsider.

Ashmore said since his appointment, he has been working for the Authority without a promise of compensation.

HUD officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

Following his release, Ashmore issued the following statement:

"I am extremely disappointed in HUD's decision to wrongfully remove me as Executive Director. I have and will be consulting with legal counsel concerning this wrongful discharge, the blatant reverse discrimination issues behind the discharge and the other related labor law violations concerning HUD's failure follow basic wage regulations.  HUD clearly approved my application when the director out of Chicago indicated his approval by signifying with  a "Yes" on my application to ACHA. This was in fact done prior to ACHA Board making an offer of employment to me. No further approval was necessary nor called for in the VCA, despite HUD's current posturing and spin that has occurred over the last month or so. I am also extremely disappointed for the residents of ACHA. HUD's decision to do this comes after I have set a number of things in order to start "righting the ship." Now that HUD has removed the ACHA board the residents' housing and operational budget will be manage by the same federal bureaucracy that was in charge of supervising it during the period of time that HUD blames all issues solely on the local ACHA Board. HUD performed annual inspections of the facilities during this time period and performed annual audits. At no time were any issues of mis-management or mis-appropriation cited by these annual audits. They didn't care then and don't now. This is all about appearances and there is no substance behind HUD's intent or its vision for this community."

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