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Housing Commissioners Fire CEO After CBS2 News Investigation

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — “His employment contract with HACLA is deemed terminated.”

With those eight words — The LA Housing Authority commissioners fired CEO Rudolf Montiel, an act he calls retaliation.

Last month a CBS news investigation exposed some commissioners spent more than $158,000 in the past two years on fancy hotels and fine dining — mostly at housing related conferences.

Last week Montiel sent them letters asking them to return some money. Now they canned him. But the acting Board Chairman said Montiel’s evaluation had been ongoing since last summer.

“It has nothing to do with any of the recent media reports — completely independent. But the appearance of it — coming one week — that’s your opinion — your statement.”

But residents of public housing, which the commissioners oversee, don’t buy it.

“You’re not going to take our money and have a good time and think we’re going to sit back and allow you to do it. I truly believe that’s why you’re picking on Montiel is that you’re as**s are in hot water.”

And some residents said it’s the commissioners who should be shown the door.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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