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New Times - Broward-Palm Beach
February 16, 2010

Deerfield Beach Hires Independent Auditor to Analyze Public Housing Programs

By Thomas Francis

A few minutes ago, the Deerfield Beach City Commission voted to hire Kessler International, a forensic auditing firm that will try to find out how the city spent its federal housing dollars.

The request came from City Manager Burgess Hanson, who has been reviewing that spending since he took over the position last month. The political question is whether a close inspection of housing development funds leads investigators to discover links between Vice Mayor Sylvia Poitier and the Westside Deerfield Businessmen Association, the nonprofit agency that functions as the city's Community Housing Development Organization and which has been asked to provide financial records to the city.

Judging by the hire of the independent auditor and the disclosure that the city staff paid a visit to HUD offices last week, it looks like those financial records didn't resolve the initial concerns.

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