More troubling news for Richmond Housing Authority: a police investigation

Residents of Richmond's 'uninhabitable' Hacienda will soon relocate
The Hacienda housing complex

More allegations of corruption at the troubled Richmond Housing Authority have led to a police investigation.

The probe involves $340,000 that was supposed to be earmarked for maintenance at the Hacienda complex over the last two years, according to a KTVU (Ch. 2) exclusive.

“Items were purchased from Home Depot, but never delivered to the residences or units,” Richmond Police Captain Mark Gagan told KTVU. “But rather, refurbished units were put in their place.”

The investigation at this point centers on 54-year old Debra Holter, the Housing Authority’s maintenance manager, although more Housing Authority officials may have been involved.

Holter’s husband is reportedly affiliated with a vendor who received a “disproportionate amount of work and money from the Housing Authority,” Gagan said.

KTVU went to Holter’s home and spoke with her husband, who claimed he and his wife are innocent.

Holter has been placed on administrative leave during the investigation.

Police said there might have been “a culture” within the Housing Authority “that allowed this to happen,” according to KTVU.

The investigation is the latest in a series of allegations of corruption at the Housing Authority. Reports claim mismanagement and misuse of funds by city officials led to deplorable conditions at the public housing developments, particularly the Hacienda complex. Conditions have reportedly been bad enough at the Hacienda that City Council voted to relocate the building’s 111 seniors and disabled residents. That process is still ongoing.

In May, the Housing Authority was accused of nepotism after the nephew of a top official was paid more than double his salary in overtime and other perks as a public housing maintenance worker last year. The worker allegedly clocked six hours of overtime for the job of unlocking and locking a single door. That same work was claimed on a timesheet by another worker.

Many of these revelations have been uncovered by the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR), which continues to aggressively investigate the Housing Authority.

Below is the video version of the CIR investigation that outed the Hacienda’s alarming shortcomings.