Outgoing Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority CEO Damon E. Duncan has already started a new full-time job, but he will remain on the payroll in Richmond for another month.
A divided RRHA Board of Commissioners voted Wednesday to retain Duncan, who announced his resignation in March, through June 22. The board made the decision with the knowledge that Duncan started a new full-time job as executive director of the Montgomery Housing Authority in Alabama on May 4.
“He’s been on both payrolls, and I just couldn’t abide by that,” said Robley Jones, an RRHA board member who lobbied his colleagues Wednesday to move Duncan’s departure date to Thursday.
The board rejected that attempt after an impromptu closed session called to discuss personnel during its virtual meeting. The board did not discuss Duncan’s new full-time job publicly before voting Wednesday.
“I have an ethical problem with someone coming, signing a contract in Richmond, saying they’re going to be full-time and then telling the board that he was leaving RRHA to be closer to his family in Atlanta,” Jones said after the meeting. “And then, lo and behold, before his employment with RRHA is over, he’s a full-time employee of the Montgomery Housing Authority. To me, it’s unethical.”
RRHA announced Duncan’s intent to step down in the next 60 to 90 days on Friday, March 20. The Montgomery Housing Authority’s board voted to hire Duncan the following Tuesday, according to a release.
Board Chairwoman Veronica Blount joined three other members of the board in voting to retain Duncan. She defended the decision after Wednesday’s meeting, saying it was not uncommon, in her view, for an executive director to oversee two separate public housing authorities simultaneously.
“Since Mr. Duncan has the latitude and professional experience to accomplish this, I appreciate the fact that he has extended himself to do so,” Blount said in a text.
Wednesday’s vote came with only six board members present. Marilyn Olds, the board’s tenant representative, did not take part in the meeting. Two other positions on the nine-member board are vacant.
Duncan did not return requests for comment late Wednesday.
Angela Fountain, an RRHA spokeswoman, said she did not know when Duncan informed the board of his new full-time job. Duncan, she said, has continued coordinating operations in Richmond.
“Not understanding what the issue is,” Fountain said in a text. “The board hired Damon. The board accepted his resignation. I can’t speak to what he does outside of RRHA.”
Duncan said in March he was leaving Richmond to be closer to family in Georgia and pursue other opportunities.
Duncan came to Richmond last spring. He made $200,000 annually.
He committed to help the RRHA board search for an interim replacement to steer the agency responsible for managing 4,000 units of federally subsidized housing.
Earlier this month, the board tapped the agency’s controller, Stacey Daniels-Fayson, to the interim role. She takes over on June 22.