With guest, Louder Than a Bomb poet Nate Marshall

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Rahm picks Moore to chair the Housing Committee, Jones to run the CHA. Why???

Jones was backed by crackhead Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. 
With Ald. Joe Moore running the City Council’s Housing Committee and Gene Jones picked as Rahm Emanuel's 3rd CHA director in 4 years, what could possibly go wrong for a city with destabilized public housing and a rapidly growing homeless population?


OK, you can understand Moore being thrown a bone by the Mayor in exchange for the last couple of years of faithful toadyism. That's what committee chairmanships are for, I suppose. Moore takes over doling out housing jobs and contracts from previous committee chair Ray Suarez who got his ass kicked in the 31st Ward election by Milly Santiago, before anyone could figure out how to get hold of hundreds of millions of unspent CHA dollars intended to house the city's homeless.

But Gene Jones? Why in the world would Rahm bring Jones in from Canada to run the Housing Authority? Did he comb the world for the most conflict-ridden, scandal-ridden bureaucrat he could find? Looks that way.

Jones replaces Michael Merchant, who is leaving for other "professional opportunities" after serving since 2013. Merchant replaced Charles Woodyard, who resigned in October 2013, at the same time that the CHA agreed to a $99,000 settlement with a former staffer who accused Woodyard of sexual harassment. Woodyard had been hired in 2011 to succeed CEO Lewis Jordan, who quit in June of that year in the wake of questions about his credit card use and big expense charges he ran up for meals and employee gifts.

Four CHA directors in 4 years sounds a lot like  Rahm's record for instability at CPS where he is about to appoint his 3rd full-time Chicago Public Schools CEO in four years and Chicago's 6th in 5 years.

According to Rahm,
"Gene Jones has a proven track record of being a solution-driven leader in public housing."
But isn't that what he said about the last three? Let's look

Jones' last big job was up in Toronto where he was backed by crackhead Mayor Rob Ford and where, according to the Tribune, "he was key to executing three major housing projects". No pun intended, I'm sure. After all, we've already executed most of Chicago's public housing stock, driving thousands of black families from the city.

Here's what the Toronto Star had to say about Jones' departure:
Gene Jones Jr. has become the third Toronto Community Housing Corporation chief executive in its decade-long existence to have a career marked by scandal. After a scathing ombudsman’s report earlier this week, CEO Gene Jones resigned from the position, receiving a $200,000 severance settlement, in what board chair Bud Purves described as a mutual decision.
Fiona Crean, the city’s ombudsman, released a report this week that said Jones and other senior executives at the housing agency flouted hiring rules, ignored conflicts of interest, gave managers sudden and unjustified raises, and fired people recklessly.
In Indianapolis, where he served as executive director of the housing agency from 1997 to 2000, he would accompany police on raids into the community, donning a flak jacket. He would later do the same in Detroit.

Ah, perfect! Just what we need -- a public housing bureaucrat in a flak jacket.

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