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Kriseman to move ahead with removal of three Housing Authority commissioners

Megan Holmes

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Mayor Kriseman gave his State of the City remarks at the Palladium Theater on Saturday.

The ongoing crisis in the St. Petersburg Housing Authority continued Sunday evening, when St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman took to Facebook and Twitter to post an image of a three-ring binder, purportedly filled with reasons for the removal of three commissioners of the Housing Authority, including “6 counts of inefficiency/neglect of duty/misconduct.”

In the last several months, a shake-up of the controversial Housing Authority began when Kriseman called for the City Attorney Jackie Kovilaritch to look into the board’s conduct following extensive investigative reporting by the Tampa Bay Times. The Times found that, among other troubling behaviors of the organization, the board approved a $10,000 raise for Housing Authority CEO Tony Love, despite not seeing a performance review to warrant such an increase.

Kriseman has the power to appoint board members to the Housing Authority, which are then approved by City Council. State law also allows for board member removal in circumstances of inefficiency, neglect of duty or misconduct. Kriseman thanked the City Attorney’s office for their “tremendous diligence” in investigating the matter.

Last month, Kriseman chose not to reappoint commissioners Basha P. Jordan Jr. and Jo Anna Nesbitt, and later sent a memo to St. Petersburg City Council detailing his request for the resignation of Chairman Harry Harvey (who has served on the commission for more than 20 years), Delphinia Davis and Ann Sherman White.

These moves leave just two members of the seven member commission standing, and give Kriseman five openings to fill at the embattled agency.

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