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Patrick: Receiver Needed For Chelsea Housing Board

Gov. Deval Patrick is asking the state's highest court to appoint an independent receiver to run the Chelsea Housing Authority.

The move comes after Patrick called for all five members of the board to resign after The Boston Globe revealed that the authority's former director, Michael McLaughlin, had been receiving an annual salary of $360,000.

McLaughlin also stepped down.

Patrick said a court appointed receiver would ensure the effective operations of the housing authority until a new board can take control.

Patrick had called McLaughlin's salary "outrageous," especially at a time when public housing is being flat-funded during a down economy.

Massachusetts Housing Secretary Greg Bialecki says an independent receiver would prevent further financial problems at the agency, while it's under investigation.

"We know that there is a steady hand at the wheel, someone who's minding the store, if you will, in the coming weeks, and it gives us a chance to take our time and make a good, deliberate decision about who their successor should be."

The governor also temporarily froze state funding to the agency because McLaughlin allegedly deliberately underreported his pay to the state.

Patrick has also called for formal investigations into the authority.

"It's very important to us in the short term that we address these serious financial issues," Bialecki said, "but we do so in a way that none of the people who live in public housing in Chelsea become the innocent victims."

This program aired on November 16, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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