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Workshop set to discuss Housing Authority criticism

By Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published June 17, 2000

ST. PETERSBURG -- The City Council decided early Friday morning to hold a workshop to discuss recent criticism of the Housing Authority.

City Council member Jay Lasita asked for the meeting following a presentation from the Coalition of African American Leadership, which called for the resignation of the Housing Authority's executive director, Darrell J. Irions.

The workshop, which has yet to be set, would address a federal audit that says the agency misspent hundreds of thousands of dollars, engaged in questionable bidding practices and failed through mismanagement to house as many poor families as it could have.

"To just continue and not address it in some way, I think that would not be doing our job," Lasita said.

The council has no direct responsibility over the Housing Authority, which administers federal housing dollars and is overseen by a board appointed by the mayor. But in the past, the City Council has conducted hearings to bring Housing Authority practices to light.

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