Longmont Housing Authority investigation extends beyond searches

Today, the Housing Authority board met with their attorney, David Herrera, in another one of those closed executive sessions in a room that doesn't exactly scream closed.

LONGMONT - The investigation into the Longmont Housing Authority is extending beyond the warrantless searches on low-income homes.

In June, tenants of The Suites in Longmont took exception with police and drug dogs tagging along on the mandatory landlord inspections.

Tenants told Next that staff let them know the officers would be coming in with them, but could not go into any drawers. Emails from staff, obtained by Next through an open records request, spelled out that police would need permission to enter.

The city has the Weld County Sheriff's Office conducting an independent investigation into the searches. The Longmont Housing Authority board has its attorney doing his own investigation. After providing an update to the board during an executive session on Thursday morning, attorney David Herrera told Next that the investigation isn't just about the searches.

"This is not a binary inquiry. What I am looking at are contracts, statutes, the Constitution, the activities of the Housing Authority staff (and) policies of the Housing Authority, and it is a top to bottom review to determine those very questions. Is there a responsibility that needs to be placed on individuals? Is it systemic? Is it cultural, is it contractual? Where do the problems lie?" said Herrera. "If I simply went to a simple solution to this particular problem, I would be doing a disservice to the community. I am not doing a simple analysis. My analysis of these facts and circumstances, I think, reflects the seriousness that the board has placed on the matter."

Herrera provided the board a 90-page preliminary report. He said a lot the documents were the emails that were part of our open records request, except his were not redacted like ours had to be.

He said he would be providing the city a summary update on Friday. The next Longmont Housing Authority meeting is on July 18.
 

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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