JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Action News Jax has learned that three candidates in the running to take over as CEO of the Jacksonville Housing Authority have dropped out.
JHA serves about 2,600 families, but for nearly two years the agency has not had a permanent leader. The previous CEO was fired over sexual misconduct allegations by several employees.
Now, a councilman is suggesting that the board put a pause on looking for a new CEO because the board making the decision only has four members, and it’s supposed to have seven.
City Councilman Garrett Dennis, liaison to the JHA, asked the four-member board to put their search for a CEO on hold.
The mayor made emergency appointments of two board members, and the city council will vote on these appointments on Tuesday night, bringing the board number to six.
“My whole thing was not who they hire because that’s their independent decision, but to have a full board as they move forward,” Dennis said.
Dennis believes that the CEO decision should be made by seven members, not the current four.
Action News Jax has uncovered a conflict between Dennis and one of those members.
In a Sept. 16 letter to City Council President Tommy Hazouri, JHA Vice-Chair Jon McGowan wrote about how difficult the search has been.
McGowan said, referring to councilman Dennis, “I do not understand why, after being involved in the CEO search process for months without objection to the four-member board he has suddenly decided we should stop before the finish line.”
The letter also said, “I no longer have the emotional fortitude to be berated, belittled and personally attacked by members of council.”
A resolution asking that JHA not make a CEO hiring decision until all seven member seats are filled will also go before the council.
Councilman Rory Diamond commented that Dennis' interference lead at least one qualified person to drop out.
Action News Jax has acquired the letter to City Council President Tommy Hazouri from JHA Vice-Chair Jon McGowan wrote about how difficult the search has been:
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