The disgraced former executive director of the Chelsea Housing Authority Mike McLaughlin and the world of hurt he laid on the CHA are now under a microscope in Washington, DC where our Senator Scott Brown and Iowa Senator Charles Grassley are asking the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) hard questions.
They want to know what we want to know.
How could the CHA have been praised for its efficiency and even win awards for how it was managed when McLaughlin was playing with apparently unaccountable federal funding used to bloat his salary?
How exactly did he come to make $360,000 a year without being discovered by government auditors and record keepers is what they want to know in the first instance.
In the second instance, they want to know if HUD policies have been changed or will be changed to make sure such an egregious example of greed and outright theft at the expense of the taxpayers can never be done again.
Senator Brown, especially, should be praised for keeping the heat on this issue. And while we don’t personally know Senator Grassley, he too deserves praise for wanting to right a wrong and for helping to show the way.
In all our years of covering Chelsea, we do not believe there has ever been an incident that caused not one but two US senators to actually key in on Chelsea as part of their investigation into wrongdoing due to HUD’s lack of appropriate oversight.
Senator Brown is now locked in a heated battle to retain the US Senate seat he now holds.
With this type of proactive action which effects not only Chelsea but a thousand cities and towns just like it, he is making his mark.
The insider stock trading bill (that stops senators and house members from profiting from insider information) that has his signature all over it, is another example of serious legislation, the kind that junior senators rarely get to introduce let alone to have it pass.
We’ve met the senator during three excursions to Chelsea.
He’s a good guy doing the right thing.
Holding the CHA to accountability is certainly the right thing.