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Search for new executive director continues

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The South Bend Housing Authority is searching for a new executive director. The agency received dozens of applications for the spot left empty after Marva Leonard-Dent stepped down three months ago.

The search comes in the midst of a HUD investigation into its finances and lawsuits alleging sexual harassment, but the chairman said none of that is taking away from the search If anything, it is made board members more vigilant and selective throughout the process. 

"We definitely need someone who can come in and hit the ground running," said chairman and interim Executive Director Earl L. Hairston.

Hairston said the board received nearly 70 applications to replace former Executive Director Marva Leonard-Dent. Hairston said it is great to see so much interest in the position and is excited to have so many great applicants to choose from.

"It's a good thing because obviously you have the opportunity to evaluate the resumes and applications that have been submitted."

Hairston said they are taking their time with the process to make sure they pick the best person for the job. He made it clear there is one thing the next executive director must have." That you have a grasp of HUD regulations because,  you know, they really scrutinize what you are doing."

Hairston said each of the seven commissioners will narrow it down to their top picks before meeting again then the board will compare the applicants before making a final selection.

The chairman said the board hoped to have a new executive director in place within the next 60 to 90 days. The Board of Commissioners plan to meet again August 1 to review finalists for the position.

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