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Federal officials probe Tampa Housing Authority | News

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Federal officials probe Tampa Housing Authority

Tampa, Florida -- More heat for the Tampa Housing Authority. Federal investigators are in Tampa this week looking into how the Authority spends its money. It's all the result of several stories by the 10 News Investigators.

The allegations are that Tampa Housing Authority is spending money making the staff and board members comfortable and happy at the expense of the people they are supposed to serve.

Our investigations came to the attention of Housing and Urban  Development Secretary Shaun Donovan who says his first concern is the residents -- some of whom say they are living in conditions most people would not tolerate.

While the Tampa Housing Authority is not afraid to spend money, it's instead spending it on themselves.

The Agency has plush new headquarters; the CEO is making a salary more then $60,000 above the maximum allowed by Congress; and hundreds of thousands are being spent on travel and training.

When we asked Housing Authority CFO Leroy Moore about the spending he told us, "you're an embarrassment to the journalists".

We told him if that was his opinion that was fine, but asked if the taxpayers have a right to know about the money spent traveling? Moore never answered.

However, U.S. Senator Charles Grassley who saw our stories and wrote to HUD Secretary Donovan asking questions told us, "They're trying to discourage you because they can't stand the test of investigation".

While we have been trying to get answers, so has Grassley. He wants to know why the THA is spending so much money.

"I always tell them when we start investigating: 'If you don't give us the information we want or you try to cover it up, the truth will come out. It is going to hurt you more than if you told the truth in the first place.'"

And critics of the Housing Authority are concerned that money spent on staff and board members should be used to help improve the conditions instead.


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