Jul 24, 2014
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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.


  1. Richmond Public Housing Director Tim Jones must be fired. Mayor McLaughlin, Council Member Butt and City Manager Bill Lindsay need to stop defending Jones and get rid of him.

    Charles Smith | Jul 24th, 2014

About the Author

Mike Aldax is the editor of the Richmond Standard. He has 13 years of journalism experience, most recently as a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner. He previously held roles as reporter and editor at Bay City News, Napa Valley Register, Garden Island Newspaper in Kaua’i, and the Queens Courier in New York City.