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Problems persist at Muskegon Housing Commission

9:09 PM, Feb 10, 2014   |    comments
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MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) -- What would you do if your employer hadn't paid you since December? That's reality for employees of the Muskegon Housing Commission.

The housing commission runs Hartford Terrace Apartments and uses tax dollars from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to subsidize rent at the low-income complex.

Housing Commission Board Chairperson Edward Horne confirms 20 employees have not been paid since the last week in December.

Phil Kelley, a housing commission security guard is frustrated. "Nobody knows anything. It is always a different answer." He says the Muskegon Housing Commission's Executive Director Deborah Crockett and others in leadership roles are not telling employees what the problem is.

A H.U.D. official confirms the Muskegon Housing Commission can no longer draw money from two H.U.D. accounts which were frozen in November. The H.U.D. official says the federal government only took that action after the Muskegon Housing Commission repeatedly denied the federal government access to the housing commission's 2013 financial records.

H.U.D. says reviews of financial records at the Muskegon Housing Commission are standard practice, they happen annually, and they are required. And until the Muskegon Housing Commission meets H.U.D.'s request, the bank accounts will remain locked.

Monday morning in an unpublished and un-posted emergency board meeting, the Muskegon Housing Commission's Board of Commissioners accepted their executive director's resignation.

Executive Director Deborah M. Crockett resigned effective February 10. An interim executive director was appointed and the meeting adjourned. A lawyer for the housing commission did not allow board members to make any comments.

Employees hope it's the first step towards receiving the pay they are owed and avoiding any more damage to their own finances.

13 On You Side checked with the city of Muskegon and found the housing commission also owes the city $25,000 from a past due water bill. Its tax bill is current.

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