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Weslaco Mayor Expects WHA Commissioners' Resignation

6 years 8 months 21 hours ago Thursday, June 29 2017 Jun 29, 2017 June 29, 2017 5:34 PM June 29, 2017 in News

UPDATE (6/30): The Weslaco mayor said the accused commissioners whose names appeared in an OIG audit will not be re-appointed. 

The federal audit claimed Weslaco Housing Authority commissioners misused public money on unnecessary trips and condo rentals. 

Under statute, a city mayor has the power to remove commissioners from office. 

Weslaco Mayor David Suarez said he expects the accused commissioners to resign. He said if they don't, they will not see a new term at the housing authority. 

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WESLACO – The Weslaco Housing Authority is under a federal inspection. Federal auditors said the agency spent thousands of taxpayer dollars on unnecessary trips.

Federal authorities said they found more than $23,000 used the wrong way.

The Office of Inspector General’s audit claimed:

  • Expenses paid for a commissioner to attend a political conference that doesn’t have to do with public housing.
  • Expenses paid for another conference for a commissioner and his spouse. And even after the commissioner’s term ended, the trip was paid again.
  • SPI condo rental costing taxpayers $815.
  • A regular board meeting that commissioners scheduled it at SPI was not open to the public, an alleged violation of the open meetings law.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS reached out to the Weslaco Housing Authority to get their response to the report. The housing authority didn’t want to speak on camera.

They did release a statement that reads in part, “At all times relevant, the WHA, its commission and employees were acting in good faith and believed their practices fell within all federal, state and local requirements.”

The federal audit said the housing authority should pay back the money spent on the trips.

They recommend HUD impose fines and sanctions on the commissioners. 

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