Politics

Mayor Names His Pick for New Housing Authority Interim CEO

Update 6:45 p.m. -SoCal Connected has obtained a copy of the Mayor's letter (here) to HACLA Commissioners urging them to consider Douglas Guthrie, general manager of the Los Angeles Housing Department, for the position of Interim CEO of HACLA. Guthrie's official bio is included at the end of the letter.

Update 6:07 p.m. -The Mayor's pick for the new interim CEO of the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, Douglas Guthrie, has been involved in housing in both the public and private sector for at least the last 25 years, according to his resume posted on the online site Linkedin.com. He has headed the Los Angeles Housing Department since January 2010, the resume said, overseeing a staff of 600 and administering policy for new affordable housing, housing for the homeless, citywide rental code enforcement, foreclosure initiatives, and rent stabilization.

Prior to joining the City of Los Angeles, according to the online resume, Guthrie was president of Kimball Hill Urban Centers in Chicago, Ill, which was involved in the redevelopment of two large public-housing projects.

Guthrie received a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Kent State University in Ohio in 1971, and a master’s in public administration in Urban Studies from the same university a year later.

5:23 p.m. - Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will recommend that the general manager of the Los Angeles Housing Department, Doug Guthrie, be named interim CEO of the Housing Authority, according to sources inside the mayor's office. Guthrie's confirmation could come as early as tomorrow afternoon at a HACLA board meeting.

The mayor names the independent agency’s board of commissioners, but does not have direct authority over its staff. The Housing Authority will consider the recommendation tomorrow at it's 2:30 p.m. board meeting.

If appointed, Guthrie would be the third executive this year to head the Los Angeles Housing Authority, the embattled agency charged with housing the city's poorest residents.

Acting CEO Ken Simmons submitted his resignation late last week following multiple media reports revealing questionable spending at the Housing Authority.

In March, a SoCal Connected investigation revealed top officials in the authority had been running up questionable charges at taxpayer expense. Two commissioners and then-CEO Rudolf Montiel were ousted in response.

But a seven-month follow-up investigation by SoCal Connected revealed that the spending went much deeper than was initially reported. SoCal producers analyzed thousands of pages of credit card statements, receipts and other documents, which showed that executives and their assistants had spent thousands on fine dining, travel and gifts. (Database: view the receipts for yourself).

Just days after the investigation aired, the Los Angeles Times reported that the housing authority, under acting CEO Ken Simmons, had agreed to a severance package worth $1.2 million for Montiel.

Letter to HACLA Commissioners_Guthrie Bio.pdf>