County housing chief under investigation

County housing chief under investigation

State authorities are investigating the former director of the Vermilion County Housing Authority following an internal audit that showed a discrepancy in funds.

Board Chairman Jim Miller said confirmed the Illinois State Police are conducting the investigation and that the board recently fired Tony Hasbargen over the matter.

The agency, which has an office in Rossville, has housing units in the county outside of Danville, and Hasbargen has served as its director for eight to 10 years, according to Miller.

Neither Hasbargen nor state police officials returned phone calls regarding the investigation.

However, Miller said police are looking into financial discrepancies regarding an order and delivery of gravel for a housing authority project at Centennial Manor in Hoopeston, among other things. Miller said the Centennial Manor project involved improving a parking lot earlier in April.

"When we got the bill, we questioned the amount of rock (that was purchased) because of the size of the parking lot. It should have been asphalted for that price. Then when we went to check on it, there was hardly any rock on the lot," Miller said.

Miller said that prompted an internal audit of the housing authority's finances. He said the agency, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, has an annual budget of $28,000 to $29,000.

"That alerted us to a situation, so we went to the (Vermilion) County sheriff's department," Miller said.

The sheriff's department turned the matter over to the state police citing a conflict of interest.

Miller said he is overseeing the day-to-day operations. He said his five-member board will meet soon to discuss finding a new director.

Sections (2):News, Local