Embattled Hickory public housing agency could be abolished

HICKORY, N.C. (AP) — According to newly released documents, Hickory City Council is considering disbanding the city's public housing agency following accusations that officials sexually harassed tenants, misspent taxpayer money and failed to properly monitor finances.

The Charlotte Observer reports letters from Hickory Public Housing Authority Chairman Sidney Myles say city officials have moved to disband the agency.

City Council members will meet Tuesday to discuss plans for the Housing Authority. Under city rules, the panel has the power to abolish the housing agency and form a new organization.

Myles harshly criticized the plan, suggesting that race has played a role in the city's decision-making. Mayor Rudy Wright says race has not been a factor.

The agency uses a $5 million annual budget and 15 employees to provide affordable housing to the poor.

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Information from: The Charlotte Observer, http://www.charlotteobserver.com