Redemptive Life Fiasco Led to Retaliation Against WPB Auditor

On Oct.18, 2013 a story in the PB Post reads “HUD asks West Palm Beach to pay back $3 Million.”

Seems the city did an extremely poor job in their managing of low-income housing grants received from HUD to build homes in the poorest section of West Palm Beach.

The city turned over millions to Redemptive Life Church run by Bishop Harold Ray to build these homes,between 2005 and 2012, with little or no oversight, and now the city is looking to Redemptive Life for reimbursement. Good luck with that! In my opinion if the city had vetted Bishop Ray correctly the problem could have been avoided. Bishop Ray is living in a $600,000.00 home, and in my opinion should send the city of WPB a “thank you” card and a fruit basket. Once again it will fall to the taxpayers.

The PB Post broke the story early in 2012 and immediately after WPB Independent Auditor, Imogene Isaacs was blamed for leaking the story to the post. The City Independent Auditor did not perform the review of Redemptive Life, but was done by the housing staff who found the very serious problems. In the same time frame Ms. Isaacs and her staff along with human resources performed the review of the time and attendance of the 3 housing employees accused of wage theft. The powers to be decided Ms. Isaacs had to go after 22 years of service to this city. Commissioner Keith James, within a week of being appointed as president of the commission, fired off a memo to Ms. Isaacs which caused Ms. Isaac’s resignation.Read the memo and judge for yourself.

In 2005,08,&10 the city placed liens against Redemptive Life and Keith James, now Commissioner James, represented the church against the city of WPB, and he responded to me in an e-mail when I questioned the story. This was Commissioner James response to me.

“I was furious because NEWS of the allegation had been disclosed before the INVESTIGATION of the allegations had been completed. As a result, a reputation of integrity that had been built up over 20+ years was jeopardized. In America, we are still innocent until proven guilty. My position was that the City should complete its investigation and let the “chips fall where they may”. Why publicize the REPORT before the veracity of the allegations contained therein could be established? It does no one any good. By the way, the investigation is still ongoing.”

Keith A. James
Commissioner, District 4

Well Commissioner James the investigation is over, and you still forced out one of the most committed city employee named Imogene Isaacs.

HUD Inspector General’s Office in Washington D.C. has released the report on the city of WPB. Read and judge the report for yourself.

Reports & Publications Results

September 30, 2013 | Audit Reports
Report Number: 2013-AT-1008:
City of West Palm Beach Did Not Always Properly Administer Its HOME Program

January 9, 2008 | Audit Reports
Report Number: 2008-AT-1004:
The City of West Palm Beach, FL, Did Not Properly Administer Its Community Development Block Grant Program