HUD to RHA: McFadden must go


Adam McFadden. - FILE PHOTO
  • Adam McFadden.
Looks like Adam McFadden’s tenure heading the Rochester Housing Authority may be a brief one, at least as its interim chief.

Yesterday, the regional office of the Housing and Urban Development Department sent RHA board members a letter (see below) telling them to terminate RHA’s contract with McFadden. Because McFadden is a member of City Council, there is a conflict of interest, the HUD office said, violating HUD policy and regulations in the contract between HUD and local public housing authorities.

The RHA receives millions of dollars every year from HUD through its annual contract.

McFadden, a supporter of Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren, was appointed the authority’s interim director in October, when the RHA board abruptly fired four-year veteran Alex Castro.

When news of that controversial appointment broke — and brought a stern reprimand of the board by Warren — McFadden said that he wouldn’t seek the job permanently.

There has been speculation, though, that at the end of its search process, the board might offer it to him anyway, and that he might accept that offer. And McFadden turned down Warren’s request that he resign as interim director. And since his installation, McFadden has unveiled ambitious plans for the RHA that seem to go well beyond the scope of someone who doesn’t plan to be around long.

McFadden, who wants to continue serving on City Council, has said that he would recuse himself when Council dealt with RHA issues, and earlier this week the city’s Board of Ethics determined that there is no conflict with McFadden’s appointment. But the Board of Ethics deals with issues related to Rochester’s city government; HUD’s policies and regulations are a different matter.