Monday, July 21, 2014

HUD wakes from slumber announcing review "sampling" of HHA contracts

A July 15th HUD letter issued by Newark Director Sonia Burgos to Hoboken Housing Authority Chairwoman Dana Wefer says the federal agency plans to review a "sampling" of HHA contracts.

The time period of contracts available for sampling is stated as going back to 2010. Contracts issued outside of federal procurement rules and without any approval by the Hoboken Housing Authority's Board of Commissioners ran in the millions of dollars at the sole direction by its current contracted manager, Carmelo Garcia.

Last week News 12 ran a feature on the May MSV story where Garcia pocketed thousands of dollars from several current HHA vendors, questioning what laws may have been violated. While one state law may hold a loophole on pay to play, numerous other state and federal laws have likely been violated.

After months of revelations showed millions in procurement problems under Executive Director Carmelo Garcia and he pocketed thousands of dollars for his political committee last March, HUD is opting to take a look-see.

HUD recently overlooked these same procurement issues in order to weigh in and reject the HHA board's hiring a special counsel to investigate the procurement issues identified earlier in the millions of dollars.

The suggested HUD sampling comes after a scathing audit report issued last week revealing one among more than a dozen problems identified in its findings stating the HHA is operating outside of procurement laws. 

The complete findings by Fallon & Larson LLP are detailed from the audit report: