HUD slams HHA procurement process, calls counsel contract “legally flawed”
In a letter sure to have major repercussions in the Hoboken Housing Authority, the Housing & Urban Development (HUD) agency, a federal department with guiding oversight issued a letter citing major problems within the HHA procurement process calling the repeated efforts since August last year to appoint a legal counsel “legally flawed.”
The letter issued by Director Sonia Burgos advises the governing body, the HHA board of commissioners’ actions must be “properly adopted” if they “can be held to be legally valid.”
HUD’s letter questioned the entire appointment process describing the repeated series of counsel bids as failing to meet its guidelines and called Charles Daglian’s set of lowering bids “concerning.”
In one section of the letter HUD bluntly heads, “Perceived impropriety of current General Counsel,” it says Charles Daglian “should have recused himself from discussions,” on his own contract concluding it could be seen as “an unfair advantage.”
HHA’s letter states numerous other problems in the HHA procurement process from improperly bidding out the contract repeatedly to pricing and an improper scoring process not following its own stated criteria. In doing so, it all but invalidated the meeting last month where Charles Daglian was reappointed.
Jake Stuiver, HHA Chairman in a brief phone interview declined to discuss the HUD letter saying, “It would be inappropriate for me to comment on the HUD ruling at this time due to the fact the letter may be central to a closed session discussion at tomorrow’s meeting.”
Carmelo Garcia, Executive Director of the HHA was also contacted for this story but was unavailable at the time of publishing. The story will be updated if he does.
At the HHA meeting last month, Garcia said a vote in favor of another legal counsel and against his resolution for Charles Daglian was “criminal and unethical.”
Another letter issued within an advise and consent capacity by Hoboken Corporation Counsel Melissa Longo may have called into question the counsel contract. MSV is attempting to obtain a copy.
The HUD letter is likely to be a central part of tomorrow’s HHA meeting at 220 Adams Street.