St. Pete city council votes to remove housing authority board members

Pinellas County

St. Pete city council members voted to remove three Housing Authority board members Thursday.

Ann Sherman-White, Harry Harvey and Delphinia Davis are no longer board members.

Council members voted to remove them after a recommendation by Mayor Rick Kriseman.

He’s accusing them of neglect of duty.

None of them showed up to the Thursday council meeting, but people from the public did.

“This has probably been one of the most egregious attempts of tyranny that I have ever witnessed in my 30 plus years of public administration,” said community activist Maria Scruggs.

The board members were charged with several allegations, including failing to file annual reports, lack of attendance at board meetings, staying at housing authority properties that could have gone to low income families, approving a raise for CEO Tony Love without going over his evaluation and not following Sunshine Laws.

City leaders said it’s time for new blood.

“The residents know, who are served by the St. Pete Housing Authority, know we have their back. That’s the whole point. They need to believe we know what they’re going through. We know what they’re struggles are. We want them to be in the sunshine, just like we want everyone to be in the sunshine. We want to take the darkness away,” said city council chair, Charles Gerdes.

“I think what happened here was that people got comfortable and we need people that have a vision and want people that bring the rest of the city with them.”

CEO Tony Love’s position was not addressed at Thursday’s council meeting.

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