Ex-IHA Chief responds to surveillance video of him trashing documents: ‘I was cleaning up the office’
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The former executive director of the Indianapolis Housing Agency told FOX59 that internal surveillance video that shows him donning gloves and clearing out file cabinets in the agency’s headquarters days before he left his job was simply, “cleaning up the office for the acting director to come in.”
Rufus Bud Myers spoke just before the City County Council honored him for 18 years of service at the head of the city’s public housing agency.
Myers abruptly retired at the end of August after a summer filled with skyrocketing crime rates, disgruntled residents upset over backlogs of property maintenance requests, state and federal audits that found poor accounting systems and multi-million dollar write-offs and the appointment of a Housing and Urban Development monitor to oversee IHA operations.
“I don’t know of the findings of that audit I’m not aware of those things,” said Myers. “I haven’t done anything wrong and of course I’m not there yet so I don’t have specific answers to those questions now.”
A source provided FOX59 News surveillance video taken at night and on the weekend before Myers announced his retirement.
The video shows Myer, afterhours, emptying file cabinets, some of them locked, discarding the contents into large dumpsters and black trash bags.
“Gloves are on because there’s a lot of dust on that material,” said Myers. “These are just old paper and just a lot of piled up things that weren’t useful to anybody.
“These were all very old, some of them going back til to 2001 when I first came in,” he said. “Anything that’s needed for the audit is gonna be readily available for anyone who would like to see it who has authority to see it.”
Auditors arrived at IHA last week to conduct an inspection of its operation.
A contracted spokeswoman for IHA told FOX59 that, “while there are cameras, there were people from the legal department on the site also. He was never alone.”
No one else is visible in the offices during the hours of surveillance video FOX59 has obtained.
Internal IHA reports show crime at the agency’s top five properties is up anywhere from 24%-83% with three murders and 28 robberies so far this year.
“There’s not been really increasing crime rates,” said Myers. “As a matter of fact, we’re probably one of the few neighborhoods where there’s not been murders this year in the specific developments that we have.”
Moments before he honored Myers, Council Republican Leader Mike McQuillen said more examination is needed of the agency the ex-IHA boss left behind.
“I think if there are problems with financial issues or resources not being allocated properly, I think an audit would be the first thing to do of the agency to see where the dollars went,” McQuillen said as he acknowledged hearing complaints about maintenance issues across the city at IHA properties.
FOX59 also reported on a $400,000 federal pass-through grant, awarded by an IHA non-profit board, to a north side restaurant owner who served on the board of another IHA non-profit entity.
The woman resigned from the board in between the introduction of the grant resolution and its approval, thus, in IHA’s eyes, negating any conflict of interest issues.
Mayor Joe Hogsett told FOX59 that he is about to launch a nationwide search for a new executive director and new leadership team as part of an agency “overhaul.”
“I have great trust and faith in the mayor,” said Myers, “And I’m sure the mayor will follow through on anything he says, but I don’t think there will be anything unethical found.”
IHA is responsible for low income housing for 22,000 people in its 16 properties and 7400 Section 8 locations with an annual budget of $63 million.