Deputy director of Detroit Building Authority resigns

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As the federal authorities are looking into the Detroit Building Authority, the deputy director of the DBA resigned from his position, effective immediately.
 
Jim Wright's resignation was announced Thursday in a press release from the Detroit Building Authority. According to the press release, Wright resigned Wednesday, effective immediately and his resignation does not include a severance.
 
The city's demolition program has been under scrutiny from federal authorities for several months amid concerns about escalating costs. 
 
Charlie LeDuff has been chasing this story down since late last summer. In December, he ran into Wright and had a question: why does it cost so much to truck dirt out of Detroit? That question was prompted after Charlie learned that the city was paying a contractor $3,000 to move dirt 3 miles.
 
That was just part of the story.
 
Charlie learned that, under former Mayor Dave Bing, it was costing $10,000 per home to tear it down. The first year Mike Duggan took over, the price was up to $13,000. By year two it was $16,000.  
 
We took a look at 50 demolition bids. In more than 20 percent of the time, the contractor who the city judged to be the best and who had also bid the lowest price, didn't get the job.http://www.fox2detroit.com/news/local-news/33260393-story
 
How does that happen? Charlie asked Duggan that question, who confirmed that the city held private talks with preferred contractors to set a price for bulk demolition.
 
"It was a negotiated price, there's no question about it," Mayor Duggan told LeDuff, when confronted with emails confirming the deal. "I don't believe it was collusion."
 
 
Also in October, officials from HUD and the Department of Treasury said they didn't think the prices should be this high and are 'monitoring the situation.'
 
In May, the Feds finally stepped in. They slapped the city with a subpoena for all records related to blight removal.
 
The subpoena from the inspector general, is forcing Detroit's auditor general - who looks at all demolition activity - to give up all records information, documents and accounts in relation to the Troubled Asset Relief Program or TARP and The Department of Treasury's hardest hit fund dating back to January of 2014 when Duggan took office.
 
Detroit Building Authority Director Tyrone Clifton named Timothy Palazzolo as his replacement. He's been with the DBA since April 2015, according to the DBA.
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