Emanuel Refuses to Give CHA CEO Vote of Confidence

By Soyoung Kwak in News on Jun 11, 2011 6:00PM

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Chicago Housing Authority CEO Lewis A. Jordan, from the CHA website
Last month, we found out that the Chicago Housing Authority wanted to require drug testing for all its adult residents. Now, the CHA is making headlines as its CEO, Lewis Jordan, might be in hot water with Mayor Emanuel.

After promising to "bring a new level of accountability, transparency, and ethics to Chicago government," Rahm has decided to hold off on giving Jordan a vote of confidence until he sees the results of an audit on CHA's credit card use. Although Emanuel ordered an audit of the credit card use at CHA as well as some other agencies, it appears that Emanuel has been keeping tabs on the CHA and Jordan. According to the Chicago Tribune, Emanuel "took away Jordan's use of two CHA cars and the police officers assigned to drive them."

The push-and-pull between Emanuel and the CHA has been surrounding the latter's questionable spending habits. What has Jordan been buying with the city's hard plastic? Well, ">it looks like he's been buying a whole lot:

Mayoral spokeswoman Chris Mather said the bulk of what the administration characterized as inappropriate credit card use was found at the CHA. According to select information the administration posted online, Jordan paid for flowers and gift cards for employees using the card.

Jordan also charged more than $12,800 in meals between March 2008 and early April 2011, according to a Tribune tally. He picked up a $1,008 tab for 14 people at Carmine's in March, a meal described in credit card documents as a business meeting with city officials to discuss "supportive housing initiatives and planning in Chicago."

The meals were related to his work at the agency, according to brief descriptions posted online.

Although the results of the audit won't be released after a few more days, Jordan and some of his staff members are confident that the results will prove that Jordan has been following city guidelines and that he hasn't been abusing his privileges. We hope that Rahmbo won't have to bring out the big guns for this, but we're sure glad he's being proactive.