EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. – There’s more turbulence surrounding the troubled East St. Louis Housing Authority, which is holding a meeting Tuesday after the dismissal of its former interim executive director.
For one, the housing authority is meeting with plans to name a new acting executive director. A You Paid For It investigation last week revealed that interim director Jacqueline Powell was fired over allegations of inappropriate spending.
Also, the jobs of nearly a dozen workers are caught up in the chaos. These workers were reportedly added to payroll that shouldn’t have been, and the housing board could possibly cut them from the budget.
All things considered, there’s more chaos than meets the eye at this meeting of the East St. Louis House Board of Commissioners.
The East St. Louis City Council previously made a move to try to oust commission president Shonte Mueller. She says that’s because she led the effort to terminate the last interim executive director. Mueller said she had the support of the mayor’s office. The council failed, and Mueller is still serving in her role.
The housing commission’s meeting began around Tuesday. Mueller expects that Theresa Johnson will be announced as the executive director.
“She’s been here over 30 years, and she knows all the ins and outs of the housing authority,” said Mueller.
Powell, the previous director, was terminated for allegedly steering contracts to relatives. She told You Paid For It that those allegations were not true and that “we will talk soon” over the matter.
As for the workers, Mueller says there will be discussion Tuesday.
“Some of the workers that do not have the proper documentation to start work, we’re going to leave them off the hiring list,” said Mueller. “We’re going to hire the ones that have all the information and were hired properly. We’re going to bring them back.”
Meanwhile, the East St. Louis City Council hasn’t given up trying to get rid of Mueller. They have a meeting set for Nov. 16 to try again.