Feb 23, 2011 11:47 PM by Shawn Kline

HUD asks LHA board to resign

HUD is calling for the resignations of Lafayette Housing Authority Commissioners and all but one of them declined the offer.
Joe Dennis, Leon Simmons and John Freeman are refusing to step down from their posts.
Donald Fuselier calling it quits- hoping the three others would do the same but they decided not to resign, leaving HUD in a tricky situation.
"To be asked for our resignation at this point, I think it's an insult," Leon Simmons said.
Simmons has spent months of fighting Lafayette Consolidated Government in court, he says he's not about to give up now.
"We have no intentions of resigning." Simmons says, "we haven't done anything wrong."
In fact, a District Judge has twice ruled in favor of Simmons and his fellow Commissioners.
First, in October: officially reinstating the three. Then again in February over a controversial meeting.
Both times, the presiding judge said they haven't done anything illegal.
"There are a full range of options available to us to make sure the assets of the organization are protected and the people are served," HUD Regional Director Justin Ormsby said.
Ormsby suggests the board hasn't been able to accomplish anything because of their ongoing legal battles and it's now time to clean house.
"Included in the options are administrative sanctions." Ormsby says, "(those) can deny a person of the participation in any activity associated with public housing."
"Whatever sanction they want to, HUD, they're welcome to do whatever they want." Simmons says, "but I will take a stand and go down fighting."
Ormsby says HUD could take forcible actions within the next two weeks and Simmons says if they take him off the board, you can expect this to go back to court.


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