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St. Pete mayor says he'll remove Housing Authority board members after misconduct allegations

Mayor Rick Kriseman said documents show a pattern of "inefficiency," "neglect of duty" and "misconduct."

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman tweeted Sunday night that he is "moving forward" with removing three Housing Authority commissioners.

Kriseman tweeted a photo of a stack of documents, saying he had just read about six counts of "inefficiency," "neglect of duty" and "misconduct."

Back in March, 10News reported accusations that the Housing Authority approved a $10,000 pay increase for its CEO without first reviewing performance evaluations -- something that could result in the mayor removing five board members from office.

Previous: Hefty pay increase for St. Pete housing CEO could get board members booted

“The statue doesn't give me the authority to remove them simply because I didn't like their decisions,” Kriseman said March 1. “It does, however, give me the authority to remove them if I think they've acted with malfeasance or they've negligently performed their duties, and I believe it has risen to that level." 

Kriseman said he appointed many of the board members but is disappointed at how business has been handled.

State law gives the mayor the ability to appoint and remove board members, but the Housing Authority is autonomous. The Tampa Bay Times reported in mid-April that the Housing Authority plans to sue the city of St. Petersburg if Kriseman removes the three board members for "lax oversight."

The Housing Authority has also been under close federal watch after the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development cited the agency for letting its CEO live rent-free for months in a low-incoming housing apartment.

More: St. Petersburg Housing Authority under close federal watch

Tony Love was invited by the local chapter of the NAACP to address the incident and how he came to live at the apartment. Love said he did not do enough research before he moved there, but he feels the Housing Authority board members should have made him aware of his inability to stay at the residence.

HUD suggested board members do need to step up their oversight and understanding of different housing programs.

St. Petersburg NAACP President Maria Scruggs opposed the mayor’s statements and said in March that threatening to remove board members from office is an abuse of power.

When Mayor Kriseman was asked why he couldn't be at the April meeting and if he plans to remove Housing Authority commissioners he responded, "I appreciate that (NAACP President Maria) Scruggs is concerned about this issue and I encourage her to join me in looking out for St. Pete's most vulnerable residents and holding the St. Petersburg Housing Authority accountable. To that end, I am moving forward with remaking the commission as is within my purview."

(2) Harry L. Harvey, and Count Two: Lack of Regular and Timely Attendance at Board Meetings (3) Ann Sherman-White Count Three: Misuse of Authority Property as commissioners of the Housing Authority of the City of St. Petersburg, Florida, for Count Four: Failure to Provide Material various instances of inefficiency, neglect of Facts and Information duty, or misconduct (Fla.
Pursuant to the authority granted to me as Mayor of the City of St. Petersburg , Florida, by Florida Statutes section 421.07, please accept this letter as your formal notice that I am removing you from the office of Commissioner of the Housing Authority of St.

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