- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 27, 2015

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) - A federal judge has blocked an effort by East St. Louis to regain control of its public housing agency.

The East St. Louis Housing Authority has been under the control of the Department of Housing and Urban Development since 1985. The Belleville News-Democrat (https://bit.ly/1y3z5lw ) reports the city’s lawsuit also asked for the return of a Section 8 program that was recently transferred to St. Clair County.

U.S. District Judge David R. Herndon found the court lacked jurisdiction to rule on the lawsuit, saying laws give HUD the authority to take over poorly managed local agencies. He signed the order Jan. 15.

Federal officials had filed a motion asking for the lawsuit to be dismissed. Stephen Wigginton, U.S. attorney for Illinois’ Southern District, called the it “meritless.”

“The judge correctly held that the decisions of the secretary of HUD were not subject to judicial review,” Wigginton said. “We will continue to do everything we can to provide safe, secure and sanitary living conditions in public housing.”

Michael Wagner, the city attorney for East St. Louis, said the city is considering its options and will likely appeal. Mayor Alvin L. Parks Jr. said the city “will continue to circle the wagons” to figure out how it can get the housing authority back.


Information from: Belleville News-Democrat, https://www.bnd.com

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