Former Mayor John Street says he can understand why the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development called last Friday on the board of the Philadelphia Housing Authority, where he is the chairman, to resign from the scandal plagued agency. But Street says it is "really unrealistic" to think the board members would step down just because HUD issued a press release.
Street, visiting City Hall this morning for Mayor Nutter's budget address, said the board has had private discussions with HUD officials and understand there is pressure coming from Senate Republicans to reform PHA. The FBI and HUD's inspector general have already started probes.
"The board members firmly believe that we really haven’t done anything wrong," Street said. "We’ve done nothing that merits our being removed for cause. But in spite of all of that, most board members are open to talk to HUD about all this stuff. We know HUD has a real serious political problem in Washington. We’d like to be cooperative. But we won’t be cooperative at the complete and total expense of the board."
Asked how the process should work, Street joked that he would not say because it would give reporters a reason to skip tomorrow's PHA board meeting. One board member, City Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell resigned on Wednesday and another, Debra Brady, is said to be considering her resignation.