Temple_0The Sanford Herald reports via Facebook that the Sanford Housing Authority hired a new director Wednesday night after a “heated discussion.”

Shannon McLean of the Durham Housing Authority was selected over Eric Temple of Ypsilanti, Michigan to replace outgoing director Ken Armstrong. The Herald reported last week on controversy surrounding the expansion of the SHA board by two members to oversee the selection. City Councilman Charles Taylor fought the expansion on procedural grounds, casting the lone vote against adding two new members to the board.

A Google search for “Eric Temple” and “Ypsilanti, Michigan” reveals what’s likely the primary cause of the controversy: Temple is a convicted felon and was jailed for ten days in 2009, according to this report from the Ann Arbor news:

Eric Temple, who has been employed as an administrative specialist with the Housing Commission since 2004, was convicted of felonious theft between $1,500 and $20,000 in January 2002 for writing a bad check for a new car in his former hometown of Missouri City, Texas, near Galveston.

Records show Temple was sentenced to five years probation and allowed to leave the state to take his job at the YHC. According to an official with the Brazoria County Sheriff’s Department, Temple failed to complete the terms of his probation, was held by the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Department and transported to Texas to be jailed in April 2009.

He remained jailed from April 28 to May 8, and court records indicate that he wasn’t allowed to leave Texas until June 5. Records also show Temple had two other convictions for writing bad checks dating back to 1991.

The Rant applauds the Housing Authority board’s expansion and subsequent vote to not put a convicted felon in charge of local public housing. Thumbs up!

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