Houston

Mayor Turner fires housing director who accused him of ‘charade’ bidding process

HOUSTON – Mayor Sylvester Turner fired his director of housing and neighborhood improvement Tuesday after he accused the mayor of a “charade” bidding process to funnel metropolis money to a selected developer.

“Unfortunately I’ve reached a point where I can no longer do the bidding of this administration as a relates to this development,” Tom McCasland mentioned throughout a committee meeting Tuesday morning.

At one level throughout McCasland’s explosive remarks, there was an audio and video disruption of town’s public feed of the meeting.

A spokesperson for the mayor mentioned it was the difficulty was a technical problem and never intentional.

McCasland questioned why Mayor Turner rejected his division’s warnings and proposals towards transferring ahead with MGroup, the developer of a proposed reasonably priced housing project in Clear Lake, Huntington at Bay Area.

In a sequence of memos and different paperwork launched by McCasland to metropolis councilmembers, he says his office really helpful the mayor transfer ahead with 4 initiatives with a mixed value of $16.2 million in metropolis {dollars} and supply 362 reasonably priced models. But he says the mayor selected to go along with the one Huntington project at a price of $15 million and 88 reasonably priced models.

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“This administration is bankrolling a certain developer, to the detriment of working families who need affordable homes,” McCasland mentioned.

McCasland was cautious to clarify he was not alleging fraud had occurred.

“But even if there is no fraud in this instance, it is something that you should care about because of the way it damages the way the city does business,” he informed councilmembers.

In a press release, Mayor Turner mentioned: “There is no charade. Comments made by the former Director of the City of Houston Housing and Community Development Department are puzzling, inflated, and wrong.”

The mayor made extra remarks throughout an impromptu press convention Tuesday afternoon.

“It’s no fraud, it’s no illegality, there’s nothing wrong here. The only criticism that Tom is making is that I didn’t go with his choice,” Turner mentioned.

In response to questions on his former legislation companion having a stake within the MGroup Huntington project, Mayor Turner mentioned he was unaware of the connection till as we speak.

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The Texas General Land Office issued the next assertion, saying they’d examine McCasland’s claims:

“We will re-review all requests for funding draws allocated to the City of Houston by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The GLO will coordinate with HUD and other investigative entities to determine what actions should follow regarding these allegations. Fraud has no place in helping Texans recover from disaster.”

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