When he was hired to run the Housing Authority of Maricopa County, former Phoenix City Councilman Doug Lingner had big plans for the agency. Too bad few of them had to do with its core mission, which is providing affordable housing. As New Times columnist Sarah Fenske revealed in a February 2011 expose, Lingner quickly turned the agency into the go-to source of employment for family, friends and political cronies. He awarded work federal stimulus works to developers who'd supported him during his time on the city council. He also spent hundreds of dollars every month on meals and travel.Fenske's work led to big changes at the agency. Lingner was put on leave and eventually forced to resign. The longtime chairman of the agency's board of directors, too, chose to leave his post after his ties to contractors were questioned. Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development began an audit. Its findings were so scathing that the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors decided to take over the agency in early 2011. It's a new day for the housing authority -- and Doug Lingner (and his family members) have been forced to seek new employment.
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The Housing Authority of Maricopa County Fires a Whistleblower
By Katie Johnson, Amy Young, Troy Farah, JK Grence, Eric Schaefer, Elizabeth Maria Naranjo, Deborah Sussman, Tania Katan, Kathy West and Julie Peterson
by Katie Johnson
"Welcome to McDonald's. May I take your order?"
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