Working out of the same suite? Wayne Howard, who serves as a political point man for many developers in Phoenix. (Howard's "breakfast club" meetings are a major source of campaign cash for local politicos.) Howard partnered with developer Reid Butler to pitch a major project in downtown Phoenix last year — right around the same time that the housing authority chose Butler, along with developer Steve Ellman, to be "master developer" on a project seeking $97 million in federal stimulus funds.

No one is accusing these developers of wrongdoing, but the whole thing is a little too cozy for me. And it's even more troubling because the paper trail is incomplete.

The housing authority under Lingner used a "qualifications-based selection process" to select contractors and developers for stimulus work. That's how Cherokee Development, the firm that shares an office with Cole, was chosen: in response to a call for contractors, it submitted its qualifications and was found by agency evaluators to pass muster.

But so far, the agency has been unable to produce any such proposal from Butler or his partner.

In January, in fact, I used the public-records law to request all "qualifications-based" proposals received by the housing authority. I got a pile, but nothing from Ellman or Butler. I immediately put in a second request asking whether that was an oversight. I have yet to get a response, other than Lingner's vague reference to the matter being under "investigation."

Butler didn't respond to my request for comment, and Cole has not responded to repeated e-mails and phone calls. And so the question remains: Was Lingner a fool? Or was he a useful fool?

I can't imagine anyone hired Lingner thinking he'd thumb his nose at the agency's bylaws. I'm sure no one wanted him to do something so stupid as to give his son a job, even as experienced workers got the boot.

But someone, clearly, wanted Lingner running the housing authority. Lingner was famously the developers' go-to guy on the city council. Did those same developers think that, now that private funding has dried up, Lingner could be their entrée into the low-income housing game?

I have to wonder whether they overestimated Lingner's usefulness, even as they underestimated his stupidity. That may explain why he's being hustled out the door.

Unfortunately, though, the housing authority's organization makes such shenanigans all too easy. Maricopa County was in charge of the agency until, in 2004, it became a stand-alone entity.

Most board members today are surely well meaning, but they're busy. That forces them to rely on the good intentions of staffers. And they may have been far too trusting: Last August, Chairman Cole signed a resolution (apparently on the board's behalf) allowing Lingner to authorize contracts up to $100,000 without board approval.

Oscar Tillman is now calling for the county to take back the housing authority. It's the only way, he says, to give employees the protection they deserve.

He may be right about that, and I hope the powers that be in Maricopa County give that idea a hard look.

And I hope, in the meantime, that HUD takes a hard look at the agency's operations beyond its director. They might want to start by figuring out who lobbied for Lingner's hire — and whether they (or their friends) benefited from agency funds during his tenure.

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39 comments
Starr
Starr

Quick! Lindsey Lohan's name starts with the same letter as Doug's. She must be involved somehow. It's a major conspiracy and I'm so glad I changed my last name from Langston or that would mean I am involved too. Whew! That was a close one.

Wizard of Oz
Wizard of Oz

I've read the letter penned by Lingner's attorney several times. One statement in particular strikes me. It says, "I am sorry that I cannot continue to serve in this position further..." Isn't that his resignation?

Friendly Fred
Friendly Fred

OMG! It IS true. I checked the Housing website and there is another Lingner there, with a slightly different spelling. How could have the New Times missed this? This blows the case wide open!

Barbara Y.
Barbara Y.

The article contains both fact and fantasy. I am surprised that SF missed one of the most obvious aspects of the story: that it is not just about Doug and his son, or about unverified, unproven misdeeds. It is far worse. The fact is that the New Times missed a very important element of the Housing Authority of Maricupa County story – there is a third person who plays a critical role in everything that has happened at HAMC in the last 8 years. Somehow, in some unexplained manner, Ms. Penshe missed the third Lingnerer at Housing. This mystery person is mentioned nowhere in any of the pages of the half-dozen rambling, sordid stories written about the Housing Authority and its Director. Was this an honest mistake or is there something far more cynical going on, possibly involving a collusion between the New Times and Maricopa County? There is no excuse for this oversight, so there must have been a reason for it. Even a quick look at the website staff listing will show another Lingneree, howbeit with a typo in the form of one letter or two added, possibly to mislead investigations, but without changing the obvious similarity and substance of the surname. From internal sources close to HAMC staff, it is well known that this third person, who we will call Citizen L, possibly an adopted elder step-brother to the director on leave and ostensibly a Section 7 Manager, may in fact be the controlling force that makes all things happen at the Housing Authority. Note that the ‘lingner’ name is not common, nor are any variations normal. You would think that a silly lingering (that name, again!) error on a birth certificate made 70 years ago in Ajo Arizona would have been corrected by now -- unless there was a deliberate attempt to deceive and obscure. What a difference a vowel makes: it separates the competent from the zealous but incompetent. This omission is obviously a malevolent scheme hatched in the bowels of Hades itself, for the sole purpose of deflecting attention away from what is really happening at the Housing Authority. What are the chances that two or three employees should have practically the same name, a very uncommon name at that, in a small agency of 60 people, deluged with accusations of nepotism, and that it would go unnoticed if there were not some nefarious raison d'être? Coincidence? I think not! Not only that, the family resemblance is striking, so much that even a myopic reporter should have noticed it - if she dared to look beyond the Hawaiian shirts and fancy “mad-hatter” tea cups that L carries everywhere. I am told by sources close to the Agency (my sister) that L can often be seen quietly standing outside the Executive Area, tall and stately, closely watching over every detail of daily operations, his sharp crystal-blue eagle-eye missing nothing, his trusty cup in one hand and a rolled Cuban in the other. Yes, they say he is competent. They even say he is nice. However, it is also well known that he is a loner, one that will not sit around the copious morning kitchen table to satisfy his never fulfilled cravings, unlike so many of his less inhibited colleagues. He is aloof but it is certain that it is he, not the director or commissioners, who pulls the strings which make other staff dance like pubertal marionettes, controlled solely by his domineering imperious personality and clever force of will. If anything improper was done, and I am not saying it was, you can be sure that it is a bastard child of Citizen L’s conniving, devious mind. So cleaver, in fact, is he that his shocking manipulations have gone unnoticed even by experienced reporters in a magazine known for its dedication to truth, honesty and the greater good, not just for the citizens of Maricopa County, but all people everywhere, of every race, creed, age, size, shape, sexual orientation, ability and sex, lots of sex. Why? Why does a reporter focus on the director, his son, his brother, third cousin and nephew as well as his weary but faithful secretary, Madam C, yet entirely miss the 6-foot-4 Machiavellian mastermind hiding in plain site, known to everybody yet suspiciously mysterious and impenetrable, and, of course, absent from the pages of the New Times? Why I ask? Has Citizen L co-opted Ms Fenske? Has Sarah fallen under his spell like so many of us? It behooves the New Times to ponder the implications of this oversight, and explain why it omitted a very important feature of the story. Is the News Times hiding the truth? What are they afraid of? Who are they protecting? Who is behind this omission? Perhaps then, when these critical questions have been answered, the public will know the truth, the hole truth, and nothing but. Time will tell.

kitty
kitty

Tommy C, Craig is a COWARD just like Lingner so you shouldn't expect for him to say to much cause all the dirts out no more hiding so he has no choice but to shut the HELL up.

TommyC
TommyC

Craig Echeveste, where did you go? Why are you not posting any further?

Seems really odd that you came in here to defend Lingner, threw around some profanity, and then turn and run away, like a bully trying to kick sand in the face of the ninety pound weakling.

Craig, are you reading this?

Wendy Heim
Wendy Heim

While the investigation is going on, someone might want to look into the firing of qualified workers at the maintenance level based on lies told by their supervisors... and those up through the appeals process buying into these lies. They might be surprised at the corruption that begins at the top but goes clear down to the maintenance supervisor level... and everyone in between.

Suzy Q Public
Suzy Q Public

WOW, is this guy really worth all this wasted energy? I must agree that if Mr. Lingner wanted to give his side of the story (and it is a valid truthful story), he could have put it in writing. Even if only a fraction of what Ms. Fenske wrote about Mr. Lingner is true that is not a good thing. Thank you Sarah for informing the Public about this. And if she hadn't written her articles, who would have known this guy was wasting tax payer money to benefit his own interests, family and friends. Aren't there rules against this sort of thing. Why don't they apply to him. If he really is innocent, shouldn't any investigation prove that? and again if he really is innocent, he should welcome an investigation OR is he really worried because he knows that he is indeed not innocent? Maybe the board has learned a valuable lesson and this time they will hire a qualified person to run the agency.

TommyC
TommyC

Marcy, thank you about the information regarding Craig. While I admire his courage to post his thoughts under his real name, I'm also intrigued that he would not show professional decorum in his thoughts and expressions. I really wonder if he would call me an 'idiot' and 'asshole' if I were talking to him in person in a city office. This may be an indication of why he can't see the forest for the trees. Craig, perhaps you need to step back and look at the big picture. In the mean time, you can take a lesson from this thread. I have business downtown next week and can stop by and have coffee with you to discuss this, if you like.

marcy
marcy

TommyC,It was lost in the microburst of postings but Craig is Doug's former Chief of Staff when Doug was on the City Council. In other words, just another person Doug channeled government money too who is grateful for the opportunity to feed at the public trough.

Kitty
Kitty

Rick Rude, I have just a many personalities as everyone one else but when it comes to certain things like being just plain and stupid I will leave that shyt to you and your dumb ass side kick Doug. Truth be told every body in the right mind know there are certain people and things they should not f*** with and some one should have told your side kick one of them was f***ing with federal monies but hey he thought that he could out smart the goverment and use there monies for his pleasures like taking his women to hotels cause he was to embrassed to take the Mrs. out (lmao)this is so interesting the more people say shyt on here the more it makes Doug look like the piece of shyt he is. So Rick if you would like to know anything else just let me know. Good going Tommy C (Smile)

Rick Rude
Rick Rude

Kitty, thanks for the confirmation. How many personalities do you have, Buzz?

TommyC
TommyC

Craig,

My full name is Tommy Collins. Most folks who read and post here already know that. I just post as TommyC as a nickname. I hope that's ok with you?

I didn't direct profanity toward you, simply asked you to present information, if you have it. No need for any more profanity toward me or anyone else here. State your issues and watch for responses. We all have opinions and we will disagree.

I don't know Lingner but I've read enough stories by Sarah Fenske, that have proven to be factual and accurate that my first impulse is to take her information as being factual.

Lingner might have presented an answer in writing, without waiting for an invitation, or offering to appear in front of the board.

What, exactly Craig, is your relationship to Lingner? You seem to be privy to inside information.

Again, just curious.

Kitty
Kitty

Rick Rude your mama is the deep throat ? and if are so f***ing smart you would be able figure out what Janet was posting if she was to even post on here. (LMAO) Rick Rude you and Craig are trash just like Doug, you said it your self it's over for him so let it be dumb ass.

Rick Rude
Rick Rude

BTW, since none of you, other than Craig seems to use a real name (and I can see why) which one of you is "deepthroat" Janet?

Rick Rude
Rick Rude

Fenske, you should be proud of your loyal readers. Like you, they seldom learn the facts and make any meaningful interpretations from them. Are you ever going to write something about something that really matters? This guy is history and you look like as little doggie that has nothing new to write about.

Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein

I think that the posts done by J Edger Hoover, Dr. Drew, Neil, Barack Obama, John Wilks Booth, Mark Sullivan, John Crapper, Foghat, and Tommy Tutone were all done by the same person.----get it Craig---Einstein----Hes a genius

Tommy Tutone
Tommy Tutone

o.k Craig im done messing with you. If you would like to talk to me call me at 867-5309 and ask for Jenny.-----

FOGHAT
FOGHAT

This ones self explanatory Craig, but I'll explain it anyway-----you know, the name I posted with----FOGHAT------ Their the band that had the hit song TALK TO ME BABY. And thats what I need you to do TALK TO ME BABY and let me know if your catching on.

Lovely
Lovely

Bob you know Doug should have thought about that when he hired his 17 year old son, so you wanna talk about decent people yeah right Doug is far from decent because if so this would not be going on. Sarah keep it coming lady love reading your articles keep putting digging and putting people on blast.

John Crapper
John Crapper

Craig is correct about the maintenance of a colostomy bag and Dr. Drew your a fool.----this one was a little tougher Craig----you know,the irony----John Crapper------He invented the toilet---get it----no joke check the facts its true

Mark Sullivan
Mark Sullivan

In the interest of national securtity and our agencys ongoing investigation of Mr. Lingner this blog will self destruck in thirty seconds. You had to have got this one Craig---you know, the name I used ---Mark Sullivan--- He is the current head of the Secret Service. Do I need to continue or are you starting to catch on.

John Wilks Booth
John Wilks Booth

Holly crap Craig, did you see president Obama posted A comment also. Do you get it this time Craig----you know, the irony----John Wilkes Booth shot Lincoln, Lincoln freed the slaves, Obama is black---get it----you starting to catch on

Barack Obama
Barack Obama

Brilliant synopsis of the situation J Edger Hoover and Dr. Drew. And Neil not only if theres grass on the field play ball, but also keep in mind, If there old enough to pee there old enough for me!!!! Keep up the good work gentlemen.

Neil
Neil

COME ON BOB the fact that the hypothetical talk of junior banging the spy is creeping you out is starting to creep me out. You know what they say Bob; "If theres grass on the field play ball". Perhaps the board should launch an investigation on you next. Watch your step Bob, we got our eye on you. By the way, do you see the irony in the name I chose to publish with this time. Neil----get it---- Neil and Bob or is that just what they do.

Dr.  Drew/ J Edger Hoover
Dr. Drew/ J Edger Hoover

Holly shit Craig your smarter then I thought. Your right im not a doctor, let alone Dr. Drew from radio an T.V. fame. GET IT!! I've also been known to write comments under the name of J Edger Hoover as well. NUMB NUTS

Bob
Bob

Really, Come on now. Nobody ever said that Doug's son had been sleeping with this girl. I believe Craig said she had befriended his son. These are minors that you all are so freely making reference to. I understand that you all might not live by the same moral code as decent members of society, however, it should creep most people out to be talking about a 17 year olds sex life.

Why don't you focus on the proven facts, which appear to be few and far between, and try to be less of a scum bag! It will probably allow you to sleep at night.

Laveen
Laveen

Craig since you seem to think you know everything like Game Over said Lingner's son is the blame because he should have been thinking with his head on his shoulders and not his little dick. Cause that ass he received put his daddy out there. (LMAO) But I understand trash trying to defend trash beacuse when you lay down with flea's you get em.

marcy
marcy

It should be also noted, for Doug's resident lackey's edification, that being an "advocate" for something does not make you qualified to perform the task.

But I do hope that Doug's advocacy for the homeless pays off if he ends up having his house foreclosed and filing for bankruptcy. Standing in line at the soup kitchen isn't that bad Doug, you'll probably find a few of your fellow former tile setters there so you'll fit in fine.

BTW Doug, you might want to consider that a lump sum settlement could be attacked by your creditors should you file for bankruptcy. You might be better off just spending down your current assets and taking advantage of your latest bout of unemployment to qualify for a Chapter 7 deadbeat bankruptcy filing.

Game Over
Game Over

However if Tania's niece did befriend Doug's son he should have told his son not to put all daddy's business ( wrong doing's) out there in the street's. But at any rate that goes to show how weak Lingner's son is to have let some ass get his daddy in some serious trouble so who's to blame I would say Lingner's son. Craig E you sure are on the defensive side, if Doug wouldn't hired family when the policy states you can't, and did it just because he was the director and thought I can do what I want oops wrong answer everybody has to answer to somebody. Lingner states he was never giving the opportunity to tell his side of the story just like he was never giving the opportunity to pay the monies back for the jobs he paid his family members it shouldn't have never resulted like this for him to have to tell his side because if he would have been the man he portrays to be this shyt would not be going on. So to make a long story short it's a wrap GAME OVER Doug call it quites while you can because when the shyt gets hot like it's about to people are going to start singing and just remember you can't trust everybody people have to save themselves before saving someone else ass.

marcy
marcy

Craig is Doug's former Chief of Staff and like Doug has settled on suckling at the government teat as a way of earning a living. While it is noble to stand up for the guy who gave you a fat paycheck, it is interesting to note that Craig has absolutely no defense for any of Doug's actions.

Get rid of Doug and get rid of the people who hired him. If the reports are correct, Doug can't even manage his personal finances.

Craig Echeveste
Craig Echeveste

Dr Drew, I am a real person you jackass. Just because you are a doctor doesnt mean you can decide what works for people with disabilities. Maybe maintenance is much easier in a casual shirt than a tucked in business shirt. You are not a doctor in the valley and I doubt that real doctors would make such a comment. Dr Drew is a great example of the anonymous rock throwers that creep and crawl through these forums.

Dr.  Drew
Dr. Drew

Craig Echeveste(aka Doug Lingner) writes "By the way, the shirts are a way to deal with an unfortunate after effect of cancer."-------Craig, As a doctor , Im here to tell you a colostomy bag can and will fit inside a suit jacket. So im going to need a better explanation for the Hawaiian shirts then that. Thats kinda like saying i cant wear underwear because my balls are too big. The reality is, I could wear underwear, but i just dont like to.

J Edger Hoover
J Edger Hoover

Craig Echeveste writes "Tania Huffs niece befriended Lingners son to spy on him for months before this story broke." A PERFECT EXAMPLE OF JUST HOW PARANOID THAT DUMBASS LINGNER IS.

What a great plan. Step 1: Bring your niece in as a spyStep 2: have her befriend Dougs son Step 3: then use her friendship with the son to covertly gather information, all with the intentions of bringing down the mighty Councilman.

I think i saw this in a movie once. Let me guess, the niece was really hot and she used her looks to seduce Ligners son. It started off as just a friendship but eventually, to further gain juniors trust, she gave him a roll in the sack he would never forget. Durring the sex act she randomly pop questions to junior about his fathers doings at the Housing Authority. An unsuspecting Junior, caught up in the moment, unknowingly gave away all his fathers dirty little secrets.

Doug, is this paranoia a result of the corrupt acts you were invovled in at the Housing Authority or is it a result of you knowing you should of never been hired as the Director in the first place. If you are confident in your abilities and had nothing to hide, why would you care if J Edger Hoover himself was spying on you!!!

Craig Echeveste
Craig Echeveste

SARAHS LIES - say "surprising" because local housing authorities are funded almost entirely by the federal government. The regulations governing their work, which involves managing low-income housing, are extremely complex. Lingner had absolutely no experience in that area.THE TRUTH - Lingner was the Chairman of the Housing Subcommittee of the 5th Largest City in the US. He set housing policies for Phx and was a key player in dozens of complex affordable housing deals in phx for nearly 10 years. Where the hell was Sarah Fenske? David Smith took action without having any official finding or verifying any accusations. He hasnt even accused Lingner of doing anything wrong yet! I missed the election where Sarah Fenske became Queen of Maricopa County. She says something weird is going on here, I ll tell you whats weird - Sarah writes an editorial opinion column, then the county manager asks for the Board to ask for a resignation? Since when to people have to quit because someone accuses them of something which isnt proven, and then the govt takes official action without explaining why? If things were so bad, why didnt it come up in the last evaluation? Why did the personell process move forward on several bad apples - under the complete oversight of HR and Maricopa County lawyers and no one had a problem with it - until Sarahs article. Is Sarah just more f**** brilliant than all those govt officials. If you think Lingner just waived a wand an made things happen without a bunch of other beauracrats involved and signing off on it, you are as stupid as Sarah.

Craig Echeveste
Craig Echeveste

Tommy, You are an idiot. Lingner has not been allowed to speak to the Board at all. He has been denied the chance to answer any of these allegations. Show me where he had that chance? I havent posted before because i was being nice. Do some records requests on Lingners last 2 evaluations by the Board which were very complimentary of his performance. An example of Sarahs lies - The board specifically ordered Lingner to stay away from the office and have no direct contact with staffers. But even though the board meeting concluded in the early afternoon, Lingner continued to hang around the office until well after closing time. And, the next day, he actually showed up at a staff meeting and stood next to the interim director as she announced that he'd been placed on leave. So much for staying away from the office!- THE TRUTH - Lingner was asked to attend the meeting the next day by HAMC to answer operational questions and help transfer all the in-process business to the new interim director. Sarahs lies - Lingner is totally unqualified THE TRUTH - Lingner was recognized by the Affordable Housing Community for his committment to affordable housing issues while on the City Council. He also got an award from Maricopa Association of Govts for his advocacy of homeless services. So Tommy - wheres your facts asshole? By the way, the shirts are a way to deal with an unfortunate after effect of cancer. So tommy do you have the balls to list your last name?

TommyC
TommyC

Craig Echeveste, I believe Lingner had all the time he wanted to answer any questions about the issues of concern brought forth by the New Times article.

You seem to know a lot about this. I have to wonder why you've not posted before this and made your information known. Might it be that you don't really know anything? Maybe just conjecture on your part?

Tell us something concrete to show you have validity for your remarks...

Craig Echeveste
Craig Echeveste

Lingner was never given an opportunity to answer any charges with the HAMC Board. He was suspended and given the option to resign without ever being given the chance to explain anything. Sarah, you are judge, jury and executioner. Great job of yellow journalism. Maybe you should publish the contact in the HAMC that gave you internal documents illegally and you can explain how Tania Huffs niece befriended Lingners son to spy on him for months before this story broke. Maybe you can also explain how the Board knew about every situation you have "uncovered" and had no problem with Lingner until you published your pile of trash allegations. The hiring was not illegal and was cleared by the same lawyers that are now doing the investigation. When you did your original story on Lingner you spoke about dozens of phoned in complaints that only the Board knew about at the time. You have some sleazy agenda and were probably paid to make sure someone else got that 100k job. I can make baseless accusations just like you can.

TommyC
TommyC

"Oscar Tillman is now calling for the county to take back the housing authority. It's the only way, he says, to give employees the protection they deserve.He may be right about that, and I hope the powers that be in Maricopa County give that idea a hard look.",i>

I guess I have to argue this point, simply because the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors is up to its ankles in alligators already, trying to deal with MCSO/MCAO, both of which are seemingly out of control.

I think Maricopa County relegated the Housing Authority to the Board in the first place to relieve the county of some of the task of watching over the agency. Perhaps not.

I suppose replacing some of those on the board might be a first step, right after Lingner is gone and the interim replacement is made aware that her performance is being watched, while a new director is recruited and hired.

"And so the question remains: Was Lingner a fool? Or was he a useful fool?"

It may very well be that Mr. Lingner is both a fool, and a tool. I suppose if Mr. Lingner were living in a tropical environment, such as a Honduras island resort, the tropical shirts would be considered acceptable as daily business attire. I would have expected that Lingner would have matured from tile setter to director and realized his position in the business world. Apparently not.

I am expecting the Board will have to fire Lingner and then defend its position or offer him a nuisance settlement. In any case they need to take strong and immediate action, before he has time to file a disability claim....

 
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