Ex-southern Illinois housing exec agrees to $500K penalty

CAIRO, Ill. — Court documents say the former director of a southern Illinois housing authority must pay a $500,000 penalty for wrongly using agency money for personal expenses.

The penalty is part of a settlement between former Alexander County Housing Authority executive director James Wilson and the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan reports court records list Wilson as making about $923,000 in false claims to the housing agency in the city of Cairo between December 2011 and May 2014. A judge approved the $500,000 settlement deal.

HUD last year accused Wilson and another former local housing official of using agency money for personal travel and gifts and submitting false documentation.

The housing authority has been plagued by mismanagement and other problems, including rat, roach and mold infestations.

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