Barry Bordelon, who stepped down from his post at the top of the Jefferson Parish Housing Authority in 2012 after federal authorities blasted the agency's spending, has been hired to run the Kenner Housing Authority.
The authority's board hired Bordelon on Wednesday night, and he started work Thursday.
The Kenner agency, which manages about 130 units of public housing and 1,300 rental vouchers, has been without a permanent executive director since August, when Mayor Ben Zahn removed several board members and urged their replacements to fire then-Director Marc Starling. The board complied.
Before taking the new job, Bordelon was working in the Kenner Department of Public Works.
He was at the center of controversy in 2012 when he was executive director of the Jefferson Parish Housing Authority. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development delivered a scathing audit of the agency, accusing it of misspending $650,000 in federal money.
Bordelon resigned his post but was quickly rehired by the board in a different position. That move caused then-Parish President John Young to remove most of the board's members. Five of them sued to overturn Young's action but lost.
According to HUD, the Jefferson authority under Bordelon did not have appropriate internal controls over spending, and the audit documented several instances of agency credit cards being used to purchase items not permitted by federal regulations.
"Using the Wal-Mart credit card, the authority purchased office snacks, energy drinks, over-the-counter medications and soft drinks for personal use by its employees" in violation of federal regulations, the audit said, adding that agency credit cards also were used for cell phones, hotel stays, balance transfers and groceries.
"The executive director was directly involved in all authority transactions and had blanket authority without proper oversight," the audit said.
Efforts to reach members of the Kenner Housing Authority's board Thursday were unsuccessful.