The Cha, Again

Yet another investigation into Mike McLaughlin’s perfidy at the Chelsea Housing Authority is right now being conducted by investigators from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

What will they find this time around?

Not much more than they have already come to learn which is this, in a nutshell.

Under former executive director of the CHA McLaughlin’s rule, the CHA from year to year during his entire tenure, used Federal funds meant for capital spending projects to pay for deficits in operational costs which were always rising.

It is unlikely that McLaughlin personally stole $3.5 million – but he misused Federal funding which is a crime.

An audit apparently uncovered this and will certainly lead to McLaughlin’s indictment and ultimate conviction.

It is yet another very sad commentary in the continuing saga of the former very popular and well liked CHA executive director McLaughlin.

His wrongdoing seems to have no end, and frankly, the way he abused the financials at the CHA appears to be growing rather than diminishing.

With this knowledge, it is important to reiterate that no one at Chelsea City Hall had even the slightest inkling of the financial wrongdoing at the CHA. The City has no presence there and no power or legal or statutory right whatsoever to create policy or to guide policy and has absolutely nothing to do with the budget making process for expenditures and salaries.

In short, the CHA is something unto itself, exactly like other such authorities in every city and town in America.

There is a new exception, however. In the future, whenever possible, the city will make an effort to scrutinize the CHA budget when it is released.

McLaughlin got everyone to trust him in this City. He even got HUD to trust and to praise his running of the authority.

Now he lives in disgrace with the prospect of court action being taken against him.

My how the mighty have fallen – and my how his disingenuousness has come back to haunt him …and the City…and many of us who considered him a friend and a great administrator.

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