Tuesday, April 27, 2010

04272010 - News Article - Clay: D.C. meeting positive despite feds still saying no - City will use its block grant funds for demolition of dilapidated houses, commercial properties

Clay: D.C. meeting positive despite feds still saying no
City will use its block grant funds for demolition of dilapidated houses, commercial properties 
Post-Tribune (IN)
April 27, 2010 
GARY -- Mayor Rudy Clay went to Washington last week searching for answers from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development agency. 

Clay considered the meeting a positive one, although the end result stayed the same -- no new HUD stimulus cash for the city. 

The city hoped to receive a share of $1.93 billion in HUD's Neighborhood Stabilization Program. Gary had applied for $25 million in HUD stimulus money grant for the demolition of 900 abandoned homes and about 200 empty commercial buildings. 

Clay and U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh met with HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan Friday to ask why Gary failed to win a $25 million grant to demolish houses and buildings on the city's east side. 

On Monday, Clay said Gary will be eligible to reassign as much as $7 million in Community Development Block Grant money for demolition, and Community Development Director Jacquelyn Drago - Hunter will work with HUD to meet all necessary deadlines. 

Gary has until Sept. 13, Clay said, to reassign the first $2 million for demolition. 

Though it isn't the $25 million the city originally sought, Clay still called his meeting in 

Washington productive."It's all about tearing houses down," Clay said. "It also will create jobs." 

Saturday, April 10, 2010

04102010 - News Article - Federal agents to meet with councilman

Federal agents to meet with councilman 
Post-Tribune (IN)
April 10, 2010
GARY -- A federal investigation of a Merrillville housing assistance agency's dealings at Gary City Hall is continuing. 

City Council President Ronier Scott said a federal agent approached him at his Glen Park business Thursday to follow up on a subpoena delivered to City Hall late last year. 

That subpoena sought information about Jerry Haymon and his Glen Park Coalition of Concern, according to city attorneys. Haymon couldn't be reached for comment Friday and hasn't returned other phone calls in the past. 

Scott said he agreed to meet with federal authorities at a later time. He said no one has told him he's a target of the investigation. 

"They just wanted to talk," Scott said of the agents. 

Scott and Mayor Rudy Clay denied any knowledge of an additional visit to City Hall by federal agents Thursday. 

Haymon signed a grant agreement with the city in 2007 under which the Coalition of Concern was supposed to receive $75,000 from a pot of money controlled by Scott . The pair said at the time the money would be used to demolish vacant houses, but the written terms of the agreement were less clear. 

The Coalition of Concern received at least $103,500 in additional money from Scott 's council funds between 2004 and 2006, city records have shown. 

Haymon has said the money was used to fund his group's down-payment assistance housing program. 

Records also show the Indiana Attorney General's consumer protection division looked into Haymon's K&L Real Estate business, based in the same office as the Coalition of Concern, and ended its work in May 2008 with no action taken.