Citing a "systematic attack" on MaineHousing, Dale McCormick has resigned as the authority's director, two years before her appointment was scheduled to end. The authority has come under fire in recent months for the cost of its affordable housing projects and other financial management issues.
McCormick announced her resignation yesterday at the end of a MaineHousing board meeting, according to the Portland Press Herald. "In order to bring an end to the current rancor, the board and I have concluded that it is in the best interest of the housing authority and the people of Maine to reach an agreement on an early end to my term," she wrote in her resignation letter. McCormick, former state treasurer and Democratic lawmaker, was appointed by former Gov. John Baldacci in 2005 and her term was supposed to end in 2014. Board Chairman Peter Anastos told the paper that the board believed operations could be run more efficiently, and that McCormick and the board wanted to go in different directions.
Last year, at lawmakers' behest, the state's Office of Program Evaluation and Governmental Accountability decided to look into MaineHousing's operations. State Treasurer Bruce Poliquin and the Maine Heritage Policy Center, a conservative think tank, have questioned the cost of affordable housing projects. In a press release, MHPC said MaineHousing has demonstrated "a pattern of irresponsible financial management," citing employee bonuses and other perks.
According to the Press Herald, McCormick will receive one year's severance pay of $101,500 in installments. Peter Merrill, the authority's communications and planning director, will serve as acting director.