Brewer housing panel member resigns

Posted Dec. 17, 2009, at 9:47 p.m.

BREWER, Maine — Using personal letterhead, Frank McGuire on Thursday resigned from the Brewer Housing Authority board of commissioners, “effective today.”

“In order to better serve my other volunteer civic commitments, I now resign as a Commissioner,” the letter says.

McGuire declined to comment further and said by phone on Thursday that his resignation letter says it all.

Officials with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development have found that federal violations occurred when officials from the Brewer Housing Authority — one being McGuire — authorized contracts with the Ellen M. Leach Memorial Home.

McGuire remains president of the home’s board.

“There is ample evidence that violations of the HUD conflict of interest regulations have taken place,” says an April 21 letter from HUD to Bangor lawyer Edward Gould, who is representing the housing authority.

The Bangor Daily News filed a Freedom of Information Act request with HUD to obtain the correspondence about a possible conflict of interest.

The HUD violations also cited Dorothy “Betty” Igoe, who was executive director of the housing authority until January 2008 and who now is the Ellen M. Leach Memorial Home executive director; and Don Lewis, who was a member of the housing authority and Ellen M. Leach Memorial Home board at the same time. He is no longer on the housing authority board.

HUD asked that McGuire resign from one of the boards as part of a three-pronged resolution proposed three months ago, according to a Sept. 15 e-mail from Gould to Gordon Stitham, Brewer Housing Authority’s executive director.

The e-mail says, “HUD would drop any charges against BHA” in return for McGuire resigning from one of the boards, and the following:

• McGuire and Rudman & Winchell would agree that neither he nor the law firm he works for would provide services to the Brewer Housing Authority for one year after his resignation.

• Brewer Housing Authority would lose an estimated $8,000 to $9,000 in administrative fees for the one-year period during which the conflict of interest occurred.

McGuire’s resignation has been placed on the City Council agenda for Jan. 12 for final approval. His term was to expire on March 31, 2013, according to the city clerk.

Kristine Foye, HUD deputy regional director, said Thursday afternoon that the agency had not been informed yet of McGuire’s resignation.

Meanwhile, city leaders have hired a lawyer to investigate whether any laws — particularly the state’s conflict-of-interest law — were broken when the Brewer Housing Authority bought land in October from Calvin Bubar, a former board chairman who resigned in July.

HUD’s report on the sale, which showed no federal violations, indicated that the price paid for Bubar’s property was questionable and that state laws probably were violated.

City councilors appointed Marilyn Sproul to the housing authority board during their Dec. 8 meeting to replace Bubar.

nricker@bangordailynews.net

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