Friday, September 17, 2010

Letter to PHA Chair John Street

This letter was sent August 25th to Philadelphia Housing Authority Chair John Street on behalf of Philadelphia NOW, asking for a thorough and open investigation into all allegations of sexual harassment against PHA Director Carl Greene:

Dear Mr. Street,

According to news reports, Philadelphia Housing Authority Executive Director Carl Greene has had multiple accusations of sexual harassment in the workplace lodged against him. According to your own reported statement, these have been settled without the knowledge or investigation of the Board. I hope you are serious about getting to the truth in this matter. It would be all too easy to focus on Mr. Greene's financial missteps and gloss over these cases of workplace sexual harassment. But sexual harassment is a serious form of workplace discrimination and must be confronted openly and publicly by the Board.

It's very possible that these many reported cases are just the tip of the iceberg as most usually the victims of sexual harassment are unwilling to report such abuse for fear of reprisal, and for fear of having to discuss sexual behavior. Indeed, before Mr. Greene was hired by then-Mayor Rendell, he was facing similar accusations in Detroit. This seems to indicate a consistent pattern of discrimination in the workplace that must be addressed in a public way.

It is incumbent upon the Board to fully investigate these cases, whether they are still open or not, in a way that provides a full accounting to the public of these instances of harassment, during which time Mr. Greene should be asked to take a leave of absence, pending the results. The Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations can be of assistance in launching an unbiased, fair investigation.


Sincerely,

Caryn Hunt
President, Philadelphia NOW

The PHA Board is conducting an internal investigation, but so are the Feds. The Philadelphia Inquirer is collecting its stories about the scandal as it unfolds.

Here's a sampling:

PHA Worker looked into case then trouble began


PHA Board never got key document

Street: Greene cover-up was deliberate


At PHA: Humiliation, groping, banishment

Carl Greene problem indicative of a bigger problem

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