Housing director placed on leave

Published 12:04 am Thursday, July 14, 2011

Opp Housing Authority director Janie Weeks has been placed on paid administrative leave, housing authority officials said Wednesday.

In a motion, the board voted at a special called meeting to place Weeks on leave until all legal issues are done or until further board action.

The board would not go into details of why Weeks was placed on administrative leave; however, board member Charles Willis said the board and HUD had an agreement concerning Weeks, but HUD reneged on the agreement.

Housing Authority resident Aaron Bogen, who came to the meeting upset because he said he had requested several times to be on the agenda, but has yet to be placed on the agenda, said that some four or five Opp residents had filed or threatened to file lawsuits against either Weeks or HUD for wrong doing.

“The deal was if they (Opp residents) would drop the lawsuit, that (Weeks) would resign,” he said. “The board doesn’t want to go along with that.”

Bogen said, in his opinion, the board didn’t really care about the best interests of the residents who rely on public housing.

“The board doesn’t live in the projects,” he said. “So everything is hush, hush.”

Board attorney Rick Clifton told the small audience gathered that the board was limited to what it could discuss because of pending legal matters.

Bogen alleges that Weeks evicts the people she doesn’t like.

“She doesn’t want to talk to anyone,” he said. “She has a nasty attitude. She’s been terrorizing the neighborhood for two or three years. And people are tired of it. It ain’t fair that we have to put up with it. We need a representative from the housing project on the board.”

Bogen also alleges that Weeks charges residents when they call her at home.

“It costs $50, if you call her at home to take care of an issue,” he said.

Another issue Bogen said residents have with the housing authority is that they never know when the meetings are.

“I’ve been putting in an application for weeks to speak to the board,” he said. “But they don’t let you know when the meeting is. They’re supposed to give you notice.”

Willis said the meetings are posted on the board in the senior center and at the housing authority about seven days ahead of time.

The next meeting will be held Thurs., July 21, at 3 p.m. at the senior center on Brantley Street.