Decatur City Mayor launches internal investigation over Decatur Housing Authority

Updated: Aug. 11, 2020 at 5:00 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Decatur City Mayor Tab Bowling said he has launched an internal investigation into the allegations at the Decatur Housing Authority.

Monday, we told you about a federal investigation conducted by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The investigation concluded the Decatur Housing Authority discriminated against Black applicants who were on wait lists for waterfront properties.

Mayor Bowling said he only learned about the HUD investigation when it was reported on the news, almost four months after the investigation wrapped up.

“I became aware of the review and that it had been completed on April 3, 2020,” said Mayor Tab Bowling. “The City does not have any control over the day to day operations of the Decatur Housing Authority. I find these findings very troubling and disturbing, especially not receiving any updates from DHA and learning about the settlement in the Sunday morning news. I do not condone discrimination of any kind. We are going to make sure this never happens again and are doing an internal investigation. I run my administration on accountability and transparency and so should the DHA.”

Mayor Bowling said the investigation is currently underway and his office and a team will be conducting the investigation. He wouldn't specify who made up the team investigating. We asked him when he thought the investigation would be concluded. He said, "the Internal Investigation will be done at the speed of right."

48 News reached out to the Decatur City Attorney to see if he was aware of any internal city investigation. City Attorney Herman Marks said he wasn't aware of any investigation and has not been asked to get involved yet.

The city does not have control over the housing authority. The mayor only appoints members to the board.

The Decatur Housing Authority must pay 200-thousand dollars in damages to Black residents who were discriminated against moving into better units.

Monday afternoon Decatur Housing Director Jeff Snead said he would send a statement about the federal investigation within the next 24 hours.

As of now, the housing authority has still not provided us with any information.

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