Rochester, New York -
Rochester, NY (WROC) - The federal agency that oversees public housing in Rochester is coming down hard on the Rochester Housing Authority. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is ordering the RHA to fire its interim director. It's the latest move in a controversy that began when the RHA board ousted the former leader. Some are applauding tonight's move.
HUD oversees the RHA. Tonight it's demanding the RHA board terminate Adam McFadden's contract, ASAP!
A black eye tonight for the RHA. In a letter to the RHA board, HUD demands the board remove Rochester City Councilman Adam McFadden as its interim director, right away. Mcfadden began heading the RHA after the board fired its former director, Alex Castro in October. The move sparked immediate backlash. Supporters of Casto cried foul. Even the mayor, a friend of McFadden's, called on him to step down. Mcfadden refused, saying he would remove himself from any situations that would constitute a conflict of interest.
"You went from an organization that was operating fine to one that seems to be in shambles at this point now," said Anthony Plonczynski, Castro supporter.
Castro supporters like Anthony Plonczynski welcome the HUD move. They say Castro led the RHA during tight budget times and credit him with improving morale.
"I think it opens up everything at this point in time. The firing of Alex Castro. The operation of this board. The ability of this board to operate, I think is in serious question. And the public's trust has been broken severely here," said Plonczynski.
Castro's firing came out of the blue one week after Castro received an award by residents of Seneca Manor's Hudson Ridge Towers, one of the homes served by the RHA. But the board stuck to its guns, saying there was cause to fire Castro.
"I really do think that the public trust is broken. It's been voiced, it's been shown. There is a serious issue with trust in city government right now," added Plonczynski.
McFadden was being paid about $12,000 per month for a three month contract, and had about one month to go. Now that HUD wants him out, it will review whether the RHA will be responsible for reimbursing federal funds.
We reached out to RHA, Adam McFadden and the city for a comment this evening. No one was available. We expect to hear a lot more about tonight's fallout at the RHA's next meeting scheduled for Tuesday.
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