Attorney General Martha Coakley has apparently begun the legal process which will lead to the Chelsea Housing Authority being placed into state receivership in the next few days, according to sources familiar with the investigation of the CHA who wished to remain unnamed.
The Receivership action is said to have been pushed by Governor Deval Patrick, who requested that Coakley take the action which begins with a variety of court filings and orders and which will also include affidavits allegedly given by Chelsea City Manager Jay Ash and acting CHA director Albert Ewing among others.
Although Ash declined to comment, he has often said previously that he welcomes the assertive actions of the governor and that he would stand behind whatever the governor felt was correct.
The CHA has been rocked by revelations that former director Michael McLaughlin was receiving a $360,000 a year salary when it is officially listed at $160,000.
In addition, when McLaughlin walked out the door two weeks ago, he took with him a series of checks written out in his name amounting to $200,000 – his vacation and sick time apparently owed him by the authority.
A special meeting of the CHA Board was called to expedite the checks even though McLaughlin was being forced to resign.
He cashed one of the checks – $80,000 – at a bank while riding home with the CHA accountant who wrote them out to him.
The accountant, a longtime family friend has been suspended from his job with pay pending the outcome of a Federal, and state investigation.
The entire CHA board was forced to resign.
And the governor remains boiling about events that have taken place at the CHA.