HADCO Board Agenda for September: How many claims can we pay for?

Note the Executive Session:

The #1 Item is a complaint I filed with the HADCO Board in March of this year about the Executive Director Dolly Newman and her behavior toward me.  I filed this letter of complaint with them before they were to evaluate her and decide whether she had earned a raise.   Although my complaint has not been dealt with until now (and I have little hope of it being dealt with appropriately now), the HADCO Board has given her a 10% raise.

I took this route in hopes of avoiding having to take the drastic steps I did regarding HADCO Commission member Chris Spens. Which leads to the agenda item Cunningham vs. Spens.

In June of this year I filed a lawsuit in federal court naming Chris Spens a defendant for his actions toward me that exceeds his authority as an appointed public official.  This stems from a history of inappropriate behavior of Mr. Spens toward me.  In another post, I will provide a copy of my suit, as well as Spens’ response.

I made an offer through his (and HADCO’s) attorney that was rejected.   I can only assume the client in this case is HADCO Commissioner Spens and not the entire HADCO Commission because I offered to drop not only any monetary claim I might have against Spens personally but any claim for liability that I might have against HADCO on two conditions:  Chris Spens resign from the HADCO Commission and write me a letter of apology.

Pretty simple way to eliminate the financial liabilityof this taxpayer funded public agency.  So would it not be in HADCO’s best interest if Spens resigns?   So does this not create a direct and actual conflict of interest between HADCO Commissioner Spens and HADCO as a whole?  Seems it does.

Now there might be another conflict of interest from CEA member and HADCO Commissioner Jamie Sanchez because, as many people know, she is my daughter.   As a public official in Oregon, Commissioner Sanchez should remove herself from and discussion or decision on anything in my case against Spens that I might benefit or suffer a detriment from.   Commissioner Sanchez has already contacted the Oregon Ethics Commission to confirm what she must do under the law to make sure that she is not doing anything wrong regarding this case.   However, you don’t need to be my daughter to see that my offer to Spens is fair, if you really know what has been going on with this guy and his failure as a HADCO Commissioner.

That brings me to the second category of Executive Session items.  Besides my lawsuit against Chris Spens, there are four other cases against HADCO.  Although they have not reached the court stage, each of these items is before an adminstrative agency reviewing HADCO housing discrimination practices.  Each also has the potential to become a federal or state court case and have already costs HADCO pretty spendy lawyer time.

Can anyone guess the common denominators here?

There are two.

HADCO Commissioner Chris Spens


HADCO Executive Director, Dolly Newman

Although Ms. Newman is not directly involved with the issues of the lawsuit against Chris Spens, she is a player.   However, she played a prominent role in each of the housing discrimination claims and Spens has been the only person on the current HADCO Board who has overseen it all.

Stay tuned.

Take care,

Betsy Cunningham



HADCO Executive Director Dolly Newman is still traveling on our dime without HADCO Board oversight:

Rumor has it that she was in Washington DC last week attending the professional associaton of Housing Authority Directors conference.


Here is the purpose and some of the costs we had to foot the bill for:

“This is an exciting and busy time in Washington as Congress moves closer to enactment of the FY 2011 HUD budget and considers major authorizing legislation (“PETRA”) that could very well change the direction of the public housing program. There are a lot of possibilities and opportunities available for public housing which is why executive directors need to continue to send a strong message to Congress. PHADA continually urges its membership to contact their elected officials to discuss ways to help ensure adequate funding for public housing. And what better way to contact your elected representatives than by a face-to-face meeting? The 2010 Legislative Forum, which will be held just steps away from HUD headquarters, will focus on helping housing professionals visit Capitol Hill and HUD to meet with key housing policymakers. While the Board of Trustees and committee members are strongly encouraged to attend, PHADA invites all executive directors to participate in this timely two-day meeting.
PHADA/Rutgers Executive Director Education Program (EDEP) classes will be offered September 9-11 (see course schedule below).
PHADA committee members and trustees should plan on arriving in time for meetings that start Sunday morning, September 12.


Click here for conference agenda. Please note that the agenda is tentative and subject to change.


You can now register online through PHADA’s secure server. If you prefer, you can print out the PDF registration form and mail or fax it to the PHADA office at (202) 546-2280.

Hotel Information

L’Enfant Plaza Hotel
480 L’Enfant Plaza, SE
Washington, DC 20024

For reservations, call (800) 635-5065. Mention that you are attending the PHADA meeting when making your room reservation.

Room Rate: $209.00 single/double per night, plus applicable taxes.

***Important Hotel Information***

At this time PHADA’s room block at the L’Enfant Plaza Hotel is sold out. Please check with Stephanie White closer to the Legislative Forum as rooms will probably become available. If you have a reservation that you will not use, please contact Stephanie White BEFORE you cancel your reservation.

In the meantime you may make reservations at the Holiday Inn Capitol, which is close to the L’Enfant Plaza Hotel, Capitol Hill and HUD.

Holiday Inn Capitol 
550 C Street, SW
Washington, DC 20024

PHADA has secured a rate of $259 a night. To make a reservation, please call 1800-HOLIDAY and ask for group ID P9A. The cutoff date is August 12.

Other hotels in the area include:

Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill
400 New Jersey Avenue, NW,
Washington, D.C., USA 20001

The Liaison Capitol Hill
415 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001

Rates will vary from $250 – $360 a night.

If you would like to add your name to the waitlist or have any questions, email Stephanie White at swhite@phada.org. We apologize for the inconvenience.”