Are PHA settlements legal without board OK?

    Former Mayor John Street says he and the Philadelphia Housing Authority Board were not consulted for settling sexual harassment lawsuits.

    The Philadelphia Housing Authority board is still trying to figure our how it was kept in the dark as six-figure sexual harassment settlements were made in cases involving PHA Executive Director Carl Greene.

    Attorney Michael van der Veen specializes in complex litigation and routinely settles cases. He says organizations such as PHA settle when they are worried about a bigger award by a jury if the case goes to trial.

    “It really is not that often that people pay just to get out of litigation. Usually people pay because they have to and if they don’t the may end up paying a lot more.”

    Laura Otten is Director of the Nonprofit Center at LaSalle University. She says the Authority board should have known what was going on.

    “You need to have the right mixture of people who are providing a different array of perspectives and are willing to use those perspectives to ask questions.”

    Otten says the board’s job is to review how the executive director is performing.

    Carl Greene’s attorney says his client has not been found guilty of any wrongdoing.

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