Jennifer K. Soule (left), the so-called attorney for Aurora Housing Authority
and Alayne Weingartz (right), the so-called corporation counsel for Aurora,
each have reputations for being rude, jerks and unprofessional.
...could they soon battle it out?
For those of you who thought the crisis with America's Worst Slumlords, the Aurora Housing Authority (AHA), might be over now that Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner has finally done what Alderman Rick Lawrence told him to do YEARS ago...change the city's plan to revoke the Jericho Circle slum, well, like a bad horror movie, the evil characters and threats won't just go away.
Jennifer K. Soule, the so-called attorney for AHA, along with Chairman Little Al Schuler, Executive Director Jean Federman and the slumlords of AHA are threatening the taxpayers of Aurora, City of Aurora and Mayor Tom Weisner with litigation.
Here's what happened...
Alderman Rick Lawrence said it wasn't enough to just stop the Jericho Circle slum or change the plan, but it's time to reform AHA itself since there are other slums and prevent the exploitation of taxpayers and the poor. Lawrence urged Weisner to stand up and make changes to the board the mayor himself accused of misleading everyone (and who were all appointed by the mayor in the first place).
Weisner took a minor step by changing two board members last week, replacing Myrna Molina and Avis Miller with new members Rey Cruz and Bill Powell.
However, that still left two of the main slumlords in control. Little Al Schuler and Bill Burns.
The problem is they are related to two city council members, Abigail Schuler and Scheketa Hart-Burns and Weisner has been trying to avoid having to remove them so he doesn't face political retaliation from Schuler and Burns.
So, instead, Weisner waited, waited...and waited, coming up with any excuse to delay getting rid of them, but figured he had a solution before Election 2013 season hits.
Just wait for the terms of Schuler and Burns to expire in September 2012. That way, he can get rid of them and say their terms expired.
But now, Jennifer K. Soule, the so-called attorney for AHA, says the mayor and city messed up with how they appointed the terms and the terms actually expire in 2013, even though the resolutions passed by city council say 2012.
She also says the two board members recently kicked off was premature.
Most importantly, she's filing a complaint with HUD, alleging the city is using intimidation and coercion to interfere with an independent board.
Independent board? Weren't they all appointed by the same mayor? Yes, but well...
Jennifer K. Soule's threats may not matter.
Alderman Rick Lawrence says the mayor has the power to remove any board member, including for incompetence.
He cites the following statute, which makes it pretty clear the mayor CAN remove Schuler and Burns, regardless of their expiration dates.
310 ILCS 10/4
(from Ch. 67 1/2, par. 4)
Whenever it shall appear to the presiding officer having appointment authority that a commissioner of a Housing Authority is incompetent or guilty of neglect of duty or malfeasance, the presiding officer shall require such commissioner to appear before the presiding officer or his designee to show cause why he should not be removed from office. At least fifteen days' written notice of such a hearing shall be given to the commissioner whose conduct is in question and to all other members of the Authority. At the hearing the commissioner may be represented by counsel and may appear personally and present such pertinent evidence as he wishes or as the presiding officer or his designee may request.
If after a hearing the presiding officer determines that a commissioner has been incompetent or has been guilty of neglect of duty or malfeasance, he shall remove such commissioner from the Authority within seven days, and there shall thereupon be deemed to be a vacancy of such office.
(Source: P.A. 82‑780.)
Schuler and Burns have demonstrated widespread incompetence and since the mayor himself has stated so, why waste any time in litigation and debate between the AHA and city on expiration dates of terms?
When Weisner talks about Schuler and Burns, he starts each name with "F***" but even though the simple solution is to remove them, Weisner has never been known for doing the right, simple or least expensive thing.
Or maybe Weisner just wants to see Jennifer K. Soule, the so-called attorney for AHA and Alayne Weingartz, the so-called corporation counsel for the City of Aurora fight it out since they are both know for being rude, jerks, unprofessional and wasting taxpayer resources.
One more thing...some people say if Schuler is kicked off the board, he will run for mayor against Weisner in 2013.