MCHA Executive Director, Finance Director Placed on Administrative Leave

By Jeremy Coumbes on February 2, 2021 at 6:40pm

The Morgan County Housing Authority Board met in a special session this afternoon to discuss personnel issues following the recent suspension of the executive director.

Housing Authority Executive Director Debra Walters was suspended on January 14th for alleged misconduct for 5 days without pay.

In a letter dated January 25th by Housing Authority Finance Director and Human Resources representative Mary Jo Mast to the Housing Authority Board, Mast indicated that the board may have not followed proper Housing Authority personnel policy and Illinois law when it came to the process of Walters’ suspension.

Mast indicated that according to the Housing Authority Personnel Policy Manual that was approved in December 2019, employees who are suspended are done so without pay and can only be suspended up to 3 days without written notice being given by the Board for an extension.

Mast indicated in her letter to the board that Walters was still paid her bi-weekly amount and was allowed to maintain her Executive Director duties during her suspension.

After a lengthy executive session, the Board voted to rescind the January 14th five day suspension against Executive Director Debra Walters 4-0. Walters’ back pay will be addressed in the next pay period.

The Board then moved by a 3-1 vote to direct an unnamed firm to conduct an investigation into the issues addressed and discussed during the closed session.

Executive Director Debra Walters and Finance Mary Jo Mast were both placed on administrative leave with pay while the investigation is ongoing. The administrative leave was directed to start this evening.