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Editorial: CHA head put the people first

Updated: August 3, 2011 9:26PM

Lewis Jordan, a man who diligently and compassionately shepherded the Chicago Housing Authority since December 2007, stepped down Tuesday. His resignation, accepted with “great reluctance” from the CHA board chair, came after a report about potential misuse of CHA credit cards. Jordan says he never used the cards for personal expenses and the purchases were “consistent with CHA and HUD polices.”

Nevertheless, Jordan felt pressured to step aside, saying the questions “overshadowed the good and important work of CHA.”

We don’t know the full story and Jordan may have used poor judgment. But that doesn’t change this reality: Jordan was a well-regarded and responsive leader who leaves the CHA better off than when he arrived. He hired a strong staff, kept the CHA’s transformation plan afloat during a severe recession and, most important, he put the needs of residents first.

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