Mayor Turner fires housing director for accusing him of “parody” of tender


HOUSTON – Mayor Sylvester Turner fired his director of housing and neighborhood improvement on Tuesday after accusing the mayor of a “masquerade” bidding process to funnel money from the metropolis to a selected developer .

“Unfortunately, I have reached a point where I can no longer respond to this administration’s tenders for this development,” said Tom McCasland at a committee meeting on Tuesday morning.

At one level throughout McCasland’s explosive remarks, there was an audio and video interruption to the public stream of the town reunion.

A spokesperson for the mayor mentioned that the difficulty was a technical issue and never intentional.

McCasland asked why Mayor Turner rejected warnings and his division’s proposals regarding the move with MGroup, the developer of a proposed reasonably priced housing project in Clear Lake, Huntington in the Bay Area.

In a series of memos and other documents McCasland sent to city council members, he says his office really helped the mayor move 4 initiatives worth a mixed $ 16.2 million to town { dollars} and provide 362 models at a reasonable price. But he says the mayor chose to go along with the $ 15 million Huntington project alone and 88 reasonably priced models.

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“This administration is funding a certain developer, at the expense of working families who need affordable housing,” McCasland said.

McCasland was careful to clarify that he was not alleging that there had been fraud.

“But even though there is no fraud in this case, it is something you should be concerned about because of how it hurts the way the city does business,” he said. he informed the members of the council.

In a press release, Mayor Turner said, “There is no masquerade. The comments made by the former director of the City of Houston’s Housing and Community Development Department are puzzling, exaggerated and wrong. “

The mayor made additional remarks at an impromptu press conference on Tuesday afternoon.

“This is not a fraud, it is not an illegality, there is nothing wrong here. The only criticism Tom makes is that I didn’t follow his choice, ”Turner said.

In response to questions about his former lawmaker having an interest in the MGroup Huntington Project, Mayor Turner said he was not aware of the link until we spoke.

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The Texas General Land Office issued the following statement, saying they would review McCasland’s claims:

“We will be reviewing all funding requests allocated to the City of Houston by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The GLO will coordinate with the HUD and other investigative entities to determine what actions to take regarding these allegations. Fraud has no place in helping Texans recover from disaster.

Copyright 2021 by KPRC Click2Houston – All rights reserved.


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