Chaz Stevens Resigns Ahead of Ouster From Deerfield Housing Authority

This marriage was not built to last. Chaz Stevens had been the fiercest critic of the Deerfield Beach Housing Authority when in April he gained an appointment to its board. Since the moment he was sworn in, he was a marked man.


Last week, when the agency learned that Stevens had provided Housing Authority records to an auditor, it pounced. On Friday, board Chairman Keith Emery called a special meeting on whether to kick Stevens off the commission.

But the commissioners can skip the special meeting. (It was scheduled for tomorrow.) Friday, after Stevens learned of the Housing Authority's action, he sent his letter of resignation to Deerfield Beach Mayor Peggy Noland.

After the jump, we'll see what sin cost the bombastic blogger his political career.

On his blog, My Acts of Sedition (which has closed mysteriously), Stevens has questioned whether, under Executive Director Pamela Davis' leadership, the Housing Authority steered agency funds to favored contractors. He has cheered the efforts of a forensic auditing agency, Kessler International, that was recently retained by the city to review how the Housing Authority has spent dollars allocated to it by the city.

The act that triggered Stevens exit was an email trail showing he had provided Housing Authority records to the auditor, Michael Kessler, in what Emery said was a violation of a policy the board established at the May 19 meeting. That policy dictated that all public records requests be directed to Davis.

First of all, that seems a peculiar means for handling public records. Second, if those records are public, then providing them to an auditor wasn't really a "leak." Third, it doesn't appear Stevens even broke the policy. The email correspondence shows that Stevens wasn't responding to a public records request; he was volunteering the documents.

Emery's call for a special meeting also noted that Stevens had "engaged in an exchange of emails with persons contrary to the best interests of (the) Authority." He named an ex-staffer named Leslie Hall.

But what policy states that a Housing Authority commissioner cannot correspond with a former member of the Housing Authority staff? It's all very strange.

Asked if he cared to comment, Stevens sent an email with this cryptic text:
"Hamlet, Act 3, scene 2, line 254 230"

Here's Stevens' letter of resignation:

Mayor Noland;

When I filed my application for the Deerfield Beach Housing Authority Board, I did it in the hope of helping those most in need, firm in my resolve to not make the board appointment about me, my blog, or my life.

Unfortunately, [Attorney Tom] Connick, Mr. Emery, and [DBHA General Counsel] William Crawford have now purposely made it about me.

I did not want to make it into a circus. Connick did.

I turned the other cheek. Crawford couldn't.

I forwarded public information to the Kessler agency. Emery accused me of misconduct.

I invite you to review the audio tapes from the meetings, my emails, and the such. You will find my conduct exemplary. In a not-so-strange twist of reality, those folks who ridiculed my name calling resorted to the same whereas I choose the moral high ground.

But, in the end, my mere existence as a board member diverted attention from the important task of providing housing for those most in need.

To be a part of such foolishness is no longer acceptable to me.

Not withstanding the extreme criticism I have leveled at you in the past, I do not wish you any fallout from my departure. I told you I would leave quietly if need be and that is what I am doing.

Therefore, please accept this letter as my notification that I am tendering my resignation from the Deerfield Beach Housing Authority effective immediately.

Regards

Chaz Stevens, Commissioner


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