Citing records seized by police, the affidavit lists at least 36 instances when Graves pocketed for her own use tenant rent payments that were supposed to be deposited with the development corporation. The group owns and leases houses for low-income residents on the city’s Westside.One has to ask where Deputy Mayor Olgen Williams figures in all of this. He formerly ran Christamore House, a westside nonprofit with close ties to Westside CDC before taking charge of neighborhoods for the City. Was he unaware of the allegations against Graves when she went to work for Partners in Housing? Is anyone really keeping a close eye on how these CDCs and other community organizations are spending tens of millions of our tax dollars?
Housing Agency Executive Director Rufus “Bud” Myers said evidence in the case has been turned over to the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office, which has yet to file any charges.
“We consider it very serious,” Myers said of the case. “Not only was there fraudulent use of taxpayer money, but also some low-income persons were treated harshly and in some cases evicted and taken to court when they had indeed paid their rent.”
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Westside CDC Embezzlement Raises Concerns
The Ballard admnistration is doling out tens of millions of dollars in federal grant money to address the City's growing abandoned housing problem, as well as millions of dollars in crime prevention grants to various nonprofit organizations. A property manager for Westside Community Development Corporation, Elizabeth Graves, is under investigation for allegedly embezzling $150,000 in rent payments made by low-income residents according to the Star. Westside fired Graves in January, but she managed to land another job a month later working for Partners in Housing, an eastside nonprofit housing organization. The Star's Jeff Swiatek writes: