Former PHA chief Greene fined $75,000

20140329-Carl-Greene
Carl R. Greene, former executive director of the Philadelphia Housing Authority.

A federal judge has ordered former Philadelphia Housing Authority Executive Director Carl R. Greene to pay a $75,000 fine in connection with the housing agency's lobbying of Washington during his tenure.

In a decision released Tuesday, Administrative Law Judge Alexander Fernandez said Greene failed to disclose in federal documents that PHA paid $10,000 a month in 2007 and 2008 to the lobbying firm American Continental Group.

Under federal lobbying laws, Greene was required to report annually whether PHA spent money to influence members of Congress or the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The law seeks to prevent agencies that receive taxpayer funds from using the money to lobby for additional funding. Failure to properly report lobbying carries fines of up to $100,000.

But each year, Greene signed federal forms swearing there had been no lobbying.

Fernandez's decision orders Greene, who now lives in Decatur, Ga., to pay the fine immediately to HUD. The decision holds only Greene accountable for misreporting the required information because he was the only person who signed the disclosure documents.

Greene could not be reached for comment, nor could his lawyer in the case, Thomas A. Bergstrom. Greene's lawyer in past civil cases, Clifford Haines, also could not be reached for comment.

In his 17-page decision, Fernandez quoted Green as saying in a hearing this summer in Philadelphia on the case that there "was some confusion on behalf of my staff" in preparing documents, which he simply signed.

Fernandez, however said Greene "had reason to know" that the documents "asserted false and material facts."

There were no allegations of impropriety by American Continental.

Greene was fired from PHA in September 2010 after almost 13 years as head of the nation's fourth-largest public housing agency.

PHA's new president, Kelvin A. Jeremiah, has said PHA had done no lobbying since Greene's departure.

Greene has 30 days to appeal the decision to the secretary of HUD.


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