City Controller re-appoints chronic no-show to PHA board

    City Controller Alan Butkovitz reappointed his second pick to the PHA board, AFL-CIO leader Pat Eiding, even though he missed numerous meetings over the last months. Butkovitz says most of Eiding’s absences are excusable.

    Philadelphia’s City Controller Alan Butkovitz has reappointed his representative on the board of the scandal-plagued Philadelphia Housing Authority, even though that person has missed many meetings.

    Butkovitz says AFL-CIO leader Pat Eiding is a fighter who tried to rein in the authority’s controversial executive director, Carl Greene.

    “He really was responsible for two absences,” Butkovitz admits. “The other absences occurred because the PHA changed meetings without confirming it with Eiding’s schedule.  I think it’s just further indication that Greene, to the extent he could, did not want to make it easy for Eiding to function.”

    Eiding says he takes the position seriously, but …

    “My whole life is scheduled out a month, two months, sometimes a year ahead of time,” he says.  “So when they change the meeting at the 11th hour, I can’t change my whole schedule to be there.”

    Butkovitz says Greene went out of his way to make things difficult for him and his appointee.

    “I wanted to have the ability to put alternates and proxies on the board,” he says. “I tried to show up at a board meeting once and was driven out by Carl Greene.  Greene’s attitude was he didn’t want to have to report to anybody on anything. He didn’t believe anybody had authority over him, nobody in the city, nobody in the Federal government.”

    Butkovitz says only two of Eiding’s absences cannot be explained with solid reasons.

    In January, Butkovitz reappointed his second PHA board selection, Debra Brady, the wife of U.S. Rep. Bob Brady. Brady missed 11 board meetings between February 2009 and June 2010.

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