DeKalb housing chief quits as feds continue probe
The executive director of the DeKalb County Housing Authority resigned this week as federal investigators continued to pore over the agency’s financial records.
Sterling Bethea submitted his resignation Tuesday, giving two weeks’ notice, said George Maddox, a member of the authority’s board of commissioners.
Investigators from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s inspector general have been in Decatur going over agency records for “about a month,” Maddox said. The agency operates public housing units and subsidizes rent in privately owned homes and apartments on a $70 million annual budget.
Maddox said he did not know whether Bethea’s departure had any connection to that ongoing review.
“He just decided that he wanted to move on,” Maddox said in an interview, “and to be honest with you we didn’t have a problem with it.”
Maddox declined to elaborate on the board’s issues with Bethea, but he said the board did not force him to leave.
“We didn’t ask for his resignation,” Maddox said. “We were just praying.”
Bethea announced his resignation Tuesday afternoon in this e-mail to colleagues:
Dear Friends and Colleagues:
It has been my pleasure and privilege to serve and work with DeKalb County Government for the past eleven years. My last day of employment as the Executive Director of the Housing Authority of DeKalb County (HADC) will be Friday, June 11, 2010. I wanted to let you all know personally from me before you heard it from someone else. The County and staff has been a great partner to the Housing Authority and myself over the years. I’ve been truly fortunate to work with some of the finest leaders in government throughout the county, the metro Atlanta region and state, national and international community. It has been a pleasure working with all of you and I truly have grown both personally and professional from this experience.
My tenure with DeKalb County has been among the most professionally rewarding experiences of my life and I’m truly grateful. I wish all of you the best in continuing this critically important work in communities all around our country. I am sure that I will cross paths with many of you in the years to come.
Thank you for the great opportunity to serve the Citizens of DeKalb County.
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