RHA IS A LOVELY MESS
There’s something rotten in Denmark.
And by Denmark, I mean City Hall.
This mess at the RHA is starting to smell like it’s going to end up with somebody in handcuffs. Seldom do public officials get this dishonest about something this big without somebody getting a visit from folks with badges and subpoena power.
What am I talking about?
The recent slam-dunk firing of the man who runs federally funded welfare housing in Rochester, and the immediate replacement of him by a guy who is a close political ally of the mayor.
Here’s the roster: Alex Castro is the guy who got fired. Adam McFadden is the guy who got hired. George Moses is the Rochester Housing Authority board chairman who rigged the whole deal. Lovely Warren is the mayor who appointed George Moses.
She appointed him and four others to the seven-member board.
And they got McFadden the job.
Which works out well for him. All of a sudden, he’s raking in $140,000 a year.
Which would be OK, I guess, if he had the foggiest idea what he was doing.
As it turns out, he doesn’t. As it turns out, Adam McFadden has no background in welfare housing at all – except as a tenant. By all accounts, the people who fund the non-profit job he just left are glad to be free of him. Further, he has not led anything remotely this big, he has developed almost none of the abilities necessary to running a large organization, and when he – as an applicant – went head-to-head against the guy who got fired, he – McFadden – was shown the door.
So where do the handcuffs come in?
Let’s start with the lying.
George Moses, the board chairman, initially told the public that he fired Castro on a Tuesday night, interviewed three people the next day, and selected and hired McFadden on Wednesday night.
That’s what he said.
It turned out not to be true.
Minutes of the meeting show that McFadden was hired moments after Castro was fired, at the same meeting, with no interviews of anyone.
George Moses lied.
He not only guided the board through the caper, he lied in the face of the public.
But he’s not the only one.
Because everyone is too polite to say what everyone knows, that the mayor is lying, too.
She stood up and said that she didn’t know anything about this turn of events, had no control over the board, that it was all independent and the matter has nothing to do with her.
In reality, it is near certain that this has everything to do with her.
Across Rochester’s Democratic Party circles, people knew of this swap three weeks before it happened. It was a pre-done deal and everyone was waiting for it to happen. It is inconceivable that all the City Hall whisperers knew what was up but the mayor did not.
Particularly since it directly serves the political interests of herself and her cronies.
Patronage and politics.
First, the patronage.
It turns out that most people get into politics for the money.
Adam McFadden cashes in big time on this deal. A great check now and a set up for a fat pension down the road. But he’s only nibbling on the cheese.
The real bonanza on this deal is the hundreds of jobs at the RHA which Adam McFadden will control. Those will prove to be wonderful rewards for supporters of the Lovely Warren regime.
By putting her person in charge of the RHA – which she made possible by cleaning house on the board – Lovely Warren’s political machine brings the RHA patronage in-house.
That is a huge benefit.
But there’s more.
Beyond patronage, there’s also politics. And the RHA oversees some unique properties.
Big, giant, federal welfare housing projects. Either towers or single-level homes. All of which function as concentration camps for Democrats.
Many of which also house polling places.
Meaning that a close political ally of Lovely Warren is now the de facto landlord for enough voters to win any election or Democratic primary that comes down the pike.
And he’s also the landlord for their polling place.
All of which pays off on Election Day.
But, getting back to the dishonesty, the plot took a wrinkle when the mayor popped up this week and called on Adam McFadden to quit as RHA boss.
He politely said he wouldn’t.
It was dueling sound bites on the evening news. Her saying go and he saying stay.
All of which strained credulity.
It sounded like a poorly rehearsed high-school play.
Who seriously calls on their political partner to quit a job? Who refuses such a call?
There is one person in this mess she can’t actually fire, and she calls on him to quit. The guy who lied and who hired the guy she says she wants out – the board chairman – him she defends.
It sounds too much like everybody got together over the weekend and hammered out a plan, and the people of Rochester are now having that plan crammed up their backsides.
So we sit and wait.
For the other shoe to drop.
Time will tell if it’s on the foot of someone from the attorney general’s staff or the office of the United States attorney.
- by Bob Lonsberry © 2014