Annapolis Housing Director Eric Brown Resigns, Former Police Chief Johnson To Act as Director ~ Annapolis Capital Punishment

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Annapolis Housing Director Eric Brown Resigns, Former Police Chief Johnson To Act as Director

Eric C. Brown has resigned his position as Executive Director as The Housing Authority for the City of Annapolis and in a most unusual move, the HACA board also appointed former Police Chief Joe Johnson, a man who is closely allied with Mayor Josh Cohen and under whose watch, violent crime soared in Annapolis. From what I have been able to gather, Johnson is living in Delaware, which would make this one huge commute, especially unusual when one considers it is all about housing and he is living in another state no less.

“Mr. Brown performed capably as Executive Director for the Housing Authority and we wish him well in his
future endeavors”, said Carl O. Snowden, Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of the Housing Authority.

Mr. Brown stated the following: “I am proud of my numerous accomplishments with the Housing Authority of the City of Annapolis and hope the organization continues to prosper in the future, however, I felt it was time to move on.”

Carl Snowden was recently appointed to this position, in a move that many believed to be arranged to specifically move out Brown. Snowden, a familiar figure in Annapolis and state politics, is also an assistant attorney general for civil rights, although he is not a lawyer.

Many Annapolitans are still reeling from what they believe was an ouster of former HACA Director Pat Croslan. It seems to be a thankless and untenable position and partly due to the constant high maintenance needs of aging properties and rampant crime around its properties. However, in recent years, under the watch of Johnson's replacement, Police Chief Michael Pristoop, crime citywide has decreased substantially, and especially around public housing. Johnson is now actually being named director of security at HACA but HACA employees will report to him.

Johnson was criticized by many residents for not providing resources in and around HACA properties  where violent crime was occurring, but keeping police spread evenly citywide. Relations between city officials and HACA are often strained for a variety of reasons, but HACA properties are federal properties, even though they are in Annapolis proper and the residents are city residents. HACA is independent of city governance except that its board members are appointed by city officials.

Brown served as Executive Director for the Housing Authority since October 2005.  The Housing Authority of the City of Annapolis owns 10 communities within the City of Annapolis which houses 3,500 residents. Annapolis, with a population of about 36,000, is widely believed to have one of the highest proportions of residents living in public housing among any US city.

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