Kane In Your Corner: Investigation prompts Union City housing changes

Changes are underway at the Union City Housing Authority as a result of a Kane In Your Corner investigation that exposed excessive legal fees and

A Kane In Your Corner investigation prompts changes at the Union City Housing Authority.

A Kane In Your Corner investigation prompts changes at the Union City Housing Authority. (7/1/15)

UNION CITY - Changes are underway at the Union City Housing Authority as a result of a Kane In Your Corner investigation that exposed excessive legal fees and questionable bidding practices. The UCHA Board has terminated the contract of attorney Julio Morejon, after the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development served them notice they were "in stark violation of HUD requirements."

The decision to terminate Morejon's contract came at a board meeting Monday night. As Kane In Your Corner first reported in April, billing records show he consistently billed the UCHA more than double the $44,000 annual maximum he was allowed under his contract, and board members apparently had no idea it was happening. Minutes show board members repeatedly asked Morejon and Executive Director Virgilio Cabello whether the spending cap was being enforced and they assured the board it was.

Two letters from HUD to the UCHA show just how concerned the feds were about practices at the housing authority. The letters from Sonia Burgos, director of HUD's Office of Public Housing, say Morejon's "contracts are legally flawed and in violation of HUD requirements; further, the procurements of these contracts are highly questionable." Burgos also says "the fees, as billed, are excessive" and adds that the "contract had been routinely awarded to Mr. Morehib (each year) without competitive proposals, which is not permitted" under HUD regulations.

The termination of Morejon's contract could be just the beginning of the changes at the UCHA. HUD has said it is conducting a comprehensive review of contracts and policies. The authority will also be looking for a new executive director. Cabello has announced he will retire as of the end of 2015.

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Trending Video

An attorney for Hopatcong Officer Nicholas Maresca says 1 Attorney: Officer had no choice but to hit man in bunny suit
Shop Small: Tons of Toys 2 Shop Small: Tons of Toys
Kevin Hodges (right) is accused of killing his 3 Police: Man used cleaver, sword, knife to kill mom, grandmother
4 VIDEO: Totowa neighborhood to be torn down
Demolition has begun on a Totowa neighborhood that 5 Demolition begins on Totowa neighborhood damaged by hurricane

advertisement | advertise on News 12

More News

The Union City Housing Authority is under federal KIYC: Union City Housing Authority under review

The Department of Housing and Urban Development says the Union City Housing Authority is breaking

A Kane In Your Corner investigation finds financial KIYC: Union City Housing Authority finances

A Kane In Your Corner investigation finds financial irregularities at the Union City Housing Authority.

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE