Bill would give commissioners power to fire Maine housing head

Posted Jan. 31, 2012, at 5:17 a.m.
Last modified Jan. 31, 2012, at 5:47 a.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Amid increasing scrutiny of Maine State Housing Authority spending, a legislative committee is taking up a bill aimed at making the agency’s director more accountable to its board and the governor.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Jon Courtney’s bill is up for a hearing Tuesday before the Committee on Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development.

The bill removes the director’s four-year term of office and says the director must serve at the pleasure of the authority’s commissioners. The current director, Dale McCormick, a holdover appointment by former Gov. John Baldacci, has a term that expires in February 2014.

It comes up as the Legislature’s Government Oversight Committee orders an expedited review of housing authority spending for sponsorships, contributions, memberships, travel and meal expenses. A broader, separate review by the Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability is already under way.

The housing authority says it can defend its spending.

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