New board at Pasco Housing Authority vows to look into problems | News
Dade City, Florida -- Sex at work? Free overtime? Sounds like a great place to work, right? Well, that was the life for some employees at the Pasco County Housing Authority, but not anymore.
After a series of stories by the 10 News Investigators, the authority has a new board and is on the road to being cleaned up.
The agency has been a mess for years and, after the 10 News Investigators uncovered problems, the executive director resigned, there were calls from a U.S. congressman, a Florida state senator and a Florida representative for action. Finally, Governor Rick Scott kicked out the entire old board and replaced them with new members.
Now, the new board is ready to make changes.
"We can't change the past. We have no control over what happened before our presences and it was obvious the current board didn't have any idea what was going on, but we can foster change in the future," says David Lambert, the new chairman of the Pasco County Housing Authority.
The new members hope they can help wipe away the stench left by the former board. That board said it investigated the problems, but 10 News' investigation found allegations of the former executive director having sex at the office, padded overtime and wasted government money, while residents lived in deplorable conditions.
The new board has two items on their immediate agenda: First, they want to tour housing authority properties and, second, they want to calm the nerves of current employees.
"More importantly, [we want to] meet some of the employees of the housing authority. I am sure there are some of them out there who, quite frankly, are scared and worried about the situation that is going on," says Lambert.
The board may get more than they bargained for when they meet with employees. They will get an earful about how taxpayer dollars were used for a retirement party and for gifts for the supervisor having the affair with the former executive director. Also, taxpayer dollars have been spent on a birthday party for the hired CPA and thousands and thousands of tax dollars have been squandered by this agency, which is supposed to help people.
Meanwhile, criminal charges could be forthcoming as both the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Pasco State Attorney's Office have opened investigations.