MSHDA director resigns after revelation of alleged lavish spending of public funds

Posted at 1:46 PM, Aug 08, 2014
and last updated 2014-08-08 13:46:45-04

LANSING, Mich. -- The Michigan Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) issued a release saying executive director Scott Woosley resigned today. Woosley served as the executive director for MSHDA since October 2012.

Thursday, the Michigan Democratic Party held a press conference to expose alleged lavish spending by Woosley and other MSHDA staff. MSHDA's expense reimbursements from the state totaled more than $200,000 during Woosley's tenure, according to the democrats presentation. The democrats say a whistleblower tipped them off, and the party then did a records request through the Freedom of Information Act.

Today, MSHDA released the following:

Lansing, MI -- Scott Woosley will step down as executive director of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, effective this morning.
Woosley came to MSHDA in 2012, following one of the most turbulent economic times in state history, to lead the Authority and homeowners out of the Great Recession and help spur economic development to secure Michigan’s future.
He made the following statement:
“It is with great regret that I am resigning today as the executive director of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority and as Chief Executive Officer of the Michigan Community Development Corporation. I don’t want recent news reports to be a distraction from the transformative work that is happening at MSHDA and across the State.”
Woosley also said he is leaving MSHDA in good hands.
“A talented management team is in place at MSHDA that is poised to help our programs and projects succeed to their fullest potential. To the extent that I can be helpful in that progress, I absolutely will do so. The innovative initiatives we have started, such as the Michigan Mezzanine Investment Fund, Michigan Community Development Corporation (MCDC) and the State of Michigan EB-5 Regional Center have significant potential to bolster the economic landscape of the state for decades to come.”
Among the accomplishments, aside from the creation of the Michigan Mezzanine Investment Fund, the MCDC and State of Michigan EB-5 Regional Center, Woosley has:
-- Launched the nationally acclaimed $100 million blight removal campaigns in Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids, Saginaw and Pontiac that already are making some neighborhoods safer and helping stabilize property values.
-- Maintained MSHDA’s AA bond rating, which is among the highest for state housing finance agencies nationwide.
-- Spearheaded Michigan’s $800 million effort to stabilize neighborhoods hard hit by the foreclosure crisis. Michigan now has its lowest level of foreclosure activity since 2006.
-- MSHDA is now recognized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and states such as California, Ohio, Georgia, Texas, and North Carolina for strategic excellence in foreclosure prevention and other housing-related initiatives.
-- Managed the successful launch of the MI Next Home loan product, which is designed to keep the momentum going in Michigan’s housing market by offering down payment assistance to qualified homeowners who are looking to make their next move.
-- Brought the prestigious 2014 National Main Streets Conference to Detroit in May, drawing 1,300 downtown development professionals to the city. It marked the first time in the organization’s history that the event was held in Detroit.
To help ensure continuity and continued progress while a search for a permanent executive director is conducted, State Treasurer Kevin Clinton – in role as chair of the MSHDA Board of Directors – is recommending that the Board appoint Deputy State Treasurer Wayne Workman as Acting-Executive Director of MSHDA, at its next meeting.