LACKAWANNA, NY - Unexplained and questionable spending by a public housing authority's tenant council has caught the attention of a local Congressman. Rep. Brian Higgins (D-26) who wants a "thorough and expeditious investigation."
The Lackawanna Municipal Housing says it is required by the U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to fund the Tenant Council. An audit conducted last year revealed dozens of ATM cash withdrawals by the Baker Homes Tenant Council. The Housing Authority's Executive Director had an outside accountant review the audit and there was concern about "apparent abuse."
Congressman Brian Higgins told 2 On Your Side's Claudine Ewing that he wants HUD'S Office of the Inspector General to take action. In a letter dated February 25, 2014, Higgins pointed to ATM withdrawals, including a ticket purchased for an NBA game as reasons for a "thorough and expeditious investigation." He wants the findings shared with the community. "Western New Yorkers and all Americans deserve to know their taxpayer dollars are being used appropriately and to good effect," he said.
On Saturday, the Baker Homes Tenant Council voted to remove its president David Hardy from the council. He is the person who bought the NBA ticket and had use of the ATM card. The emergency meeting was called after a Channel 2 News investigation.