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Columbia Housing Authority public housing manager's resignation accepted

Monday, September 10, 2012 | 7:23 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — A decision not to accept a resignation from Columbia Housing Authority Public Housing Manager Dionne Richardson was reversed Friday.

Richardson was arrested at about 1:45 a.m. Sept. 2 on suspicion of possessing less than 35 grams of marijuana and driving under the influence, according to a Missouri State Highway Patrol arrest report.

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Richardson was a housing manager at the housing authority's Bear Creek Family Site, according to the Housing Authority's website.

Housing Authority CEO Phil Steinhaus CEO said in a letter that Richardson reported the arrest and offered her resignation Tuesday. Initially, he declined to recognize the resignation because Richardson had attended the funeral of a close relative for whom she had cared for several years.

"I know there were extenuating circumstances and that she had been under a great deal of stress and suffering from emotional grief during this time," Steinhaus said. "These circumstances, however, do not mitigate or excuse the fact that she made some very poor choices that night."

Steinhaus said he changed his mind after talking more with Richardson and housing staff and after receiving emails and phone calls from residents who argued both ways.

Steinhaus said the initial decision to reject the resignation was "an error in judgment."

"I also realize that allowing Ms. Richardson to continue working for the Columbia Housing Authority seriously affects the integrity of the agency and calls into question the professionalism of our staff and our ability to successfully manage our housing assistance programs."

Supervising editor is Scott Swafford.


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