Dayton housing authority CEO fired; four directors get $1,000K weekly raises

Four department directors of the Dayton region’s public housing authority are each getting $1,000 a week on top of their current salaries to run the agency until a replacement is found for the interim CEO who was abruptly fired this week.

Greater Dayton Premier Management officials gave no reason why interim CEO Al Prude was fired Monday.

“We don’t comment on personnel actions,” said Chris Green, GDPM attorney and one of the four appointed directors.

Prude served as interim CEO of the agency after former CEO Gregory Johnson resigned — also for no stated reason, but with a $53,333 separation payout — in June 2012.

Prude told the Dayton Daily News on Wednesday that his termination followed a two-week suspension with pay, but that he was never given a reason for the decision. He said he’ll be exploring legal options.

“They said I hadn’t performed the duties of the CEO to their satisfaction,” he said. “(They didn’t) tell me what I didn’t do.

“That’s a slap in the face.”

The resolution to terminate Prude was approved Monday by five members of the agency’s appointed board. The resolution says it is going to a “new business model” that consists of four agency directors acting as a team that will meet twice a day to run the agency.

Each of the four are getting an additional $1,000 a week — retroactive to Nov. 25 — until a new CEO has been appointed or “if the Board chooses to go in another direction,” the resolution says.

2 pay raises in 1 day

Prude’s salary was $123,157, according to personnel records obtained by the Daily News. Those records show he received two significant pay raises in one day to get to that salary.

His salary was increased from $98,542 to $123,157 on Aug. 30, 2012, along with a check for back pay through June 1, when he was appointed interim CEO.

That same day, his pay was increased from $81,000 to $98,542, retroactive to the date of his hire on Jan. 31, 2011. He also was given a lump-sum payment for back pay back to his hire date.

Both pay raises are signed by Prude, the agency chief financial officer and then-board president the Rev. Wilburt Shanklin.

Green said the retroactive pay raise was given because the agency realized — more than a year later and when Prude was interim CEO — that Prude’s education and experience were not properly calculated when he was hired.

“After a review of his qualifications, it was determined he was not being paid correctly,” Green said.

Other records show he was offered and accepted the $81,000 pay in writing when he was hired as vice president of operations. Those records also show that his prior job as a program administrator at Lucas County Job and Family Services — which he said in his application he was laid off from in 2008 — paid him $65,000 a year.

Third controversial departure

Green said the agency has not initiated a search for a new CEO.

Prude is the third consecutive agency director to leave under murky circumstances. Johnson resigned without giving a reason last year after a controversial period that included an internal investigation into allegations of conflict of interest and preferential treatment of employees. He has since been named director of Cincinnati’s housing authority.

Johnson had been appointed CEO in 2004 to replace Roland Turpin, who retired after 13 years on the job following tumult that included high-level firings and concerns about a spin-off organization headed by Turpin.

GDPM has an annual budget of $46.5 million in public money and owns or manages approximately 2,800 public housing apartments or homes in the Dayton region.

GDPM Board Chairman William Vaughn issued a statement Wednesday that said the agency is “doing our best to serve the community and our residents.”

About the Author