The executive director of the Longmont Housing Authority, Michael Reis, has resigned from his position following a request from members of the LHA board.
Board chairman Wendell Pickett and Longmont Mayor Brian Bagley confirm to Next that Reis turned in his resignation letter on Thursday afternoon. We’re told the executive members of the board asked Reis to resign, and the rest of the board was being informed Thursday evening.
Bagley sent out this message to city staff:
Dear City Council and Staff:
At 4:30PM today, I was notified by the executive board of the Longmont Housing Authority that they asked for – and received – the resignation of Michael Reis, LHA’s executive director. Because the board is presently having to coordinate staff and day-to-day administrative processes as they deal with Mr. Reis’ sudden departure, the executive board has requested that I make city council and staff aware of the situation.
Appropriately, the executive board received information today that caused them to take swift, decisive, action in terminating their relationship with Mr. Reis.
The city has offered its support and resources to assist LHA as they now administer their housing program without the assistance of Mr. Reis. I encourage Harold Dominguez and the LHA executive board to work closely with one another as we all make this necessary management transition to assure that our most vulnerable citizens continue to receive the supportive housing they need.
I have no doubt that these events will result in a healthier housing authority for Longmont. Thanks to everyone for their support and cooperation.
If you have further questions or concerns, please give me a call.
Brian J. Bagley
Reis' resignation is effective immediately.
This move comes after months of unanswered questions that began in spring, when the Longmont Housing Authority invited police officers to search affordable housing units in The Suites without a warrant.
A report from December said residents felt "pressured" to go along with these searches, which happened once in May, and nearly again in June until an alert resident contacted the media.
9NEWS reporter Marshall Zelinger tried to interview Reis last month after a meeting between the housing authority board and city council. A member of the Longmont Housing Development Corporation board, which assists LHA with property management, attempted to physically block Zelinger from asking those questions.
Pickett says he is now in charge of the housing authority.
Two other LHA employees have left since news of these searches broke - Krystal Winship Erazo, the former director of operations at the time of the searches, and Alma Collins, a former on-site manager.
Two officers were suspended for searching units without permission - one for a day, and one for three days. An independent investigation, conducted by the Weld County Sheriff's Office, said that the K-9 supervisor was unaware officers had any involvement in these searches.
In November, the city of Longmont agreed to pay a $210,000 settlement to residents.