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Former CHA chief to head a California housing authority

Chicago Housing Authority resident Crystal Palmer-White listens Thurday as CEO Lewis Jordan discusses agency’s report “The Plan for Transformation: An

Chicago Housing Authority resident Crystal Palmer-White listens Thurday as CEO Lewis Jordan discusses the agency’s report, “The Plan for Transformation: An Update on Relocation,” which examined the whereabouts and financial status of families that resided

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Updated: November 11, 2012 6:30AM

Former Chicago Housing Authority Chief Lewis Jordan, who resigned a year ago amid controversy over questionable charges to his government credit card, was hired last week to head a small housing authority in California.

Jordan will officially take over as chief of the Marin County Housing Authority in San Rafael on Oct. 29, earning a salary of $169,500. His hiring is slated to go before the authority’s Board of Commissioners for confirmation Oct. 16.

“We are pleased to have Lewis join Marin County,” Marin County Board President Steve Kinsey said in a statement issued Tuesday. “He demonstrates great leadership, innovative approaches to improve the lives of our residents. Further, as a former public housing resident, Lewis has a unique understanding of both issues and opportunities that residents face.”

Jordan was appointed in 2007 by former Mayor Richard M. Daley to steer the helm of the nation’s third largest housing authority. He resigned in September 2011 amid allegations of inappropriate purchases on government-issued credit cards at the agency, after Mayor Rahm Emanuel declined to give him a vote of confidence.

A Better Government Association/Fox News investigation found the CHA under Jordan was the worst abuser among sister city agencies of government-issued credit cards. One issued to Jordan had been used to pay for numerous pricey meals at expensive restaurants.

“I am very excited about the many opportunities to enhance affordable housing in [Marin County],” Lewis said in the statement. “I am also ecstatic about the possibilities to partner with new stakeholders as we work together.”

Jordan, who before CHA ran the Rockford Housing Authority, takes over the job from interim executive director Ed Griffin, who said the Chicago controversy was fully veted before Lewis’ hiring.

“All those things were brought forward by Lewis with our recruiting specialist, then many more times through several levels of scrutiny and questioning as 25 candidates were narrowed to just he and one other,” Griffin told the Sun-Times. “He’s dealt with all those things as he would need to, and probably will continue to deal with it for a brief period after he gets here, but he’ll just have to be a leader and move beyond it.”

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