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Ann Lott: Out, Then In...Now Out Again?

Just when Ann Lott thought her relationship with the DHA board was on the mend, now she gets word her contract extension may not be so, well, extended after all.
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In today's paper there's a story about how Guy Brignon, chairman of the Dallas Housing Authority board, wants to delay the extension of DHA CEO Ann Lott's contract till after the holidays. Brignon, who wants a new audit of the agency, wants to delay even talking about it, telling The Dallas Morning News' David Flick he wants "additional information from the auditors before the board considers renewing Ms. Lott's contract." Nonetheless, on the DHA's Web site, there is a posting for a special DHA board meeting scheduled to take place tomorrow at 5 p.m. in the DHA board room at 3939 Hampton Road. Sources Unfair Park spoke with said the meeting was still on -- though there's the possibility the meeting might be closed to the public.

The meeting was called for one reason: "Discussion and Consideration of Proposed Terms and Conditions of a Contract of Employment with the Chief Executive Officer of the Dallas Housing Authority and Secretary of the Board of Commissioners."

Sources within the DHA say that despite Mayor Laura Miller's assurances last week -- first made here -- Lott's contract extension is no sure thing.

It appears at this point the deal will only be for 12 months, as opposed to three years, which is what Lott was initially told and what is usually the length of these extensions at the housing authority. And, sources say, the contract as Brignon and the board are writing it is loaded with all kinds of "impossible stipulations" intended to keep Lott from executing the deal. Among them: She's got a mere 30 days to start up a nonprofit agency within the DHA to help low-income residents with home ownership, as federal grant money received by the DHA doesn't cover that. Indeed, Miller says DHA's using the money to help residents buy houses was among the issues that first got Lott sideways with the board.

"The gloves are off," says a source familiar with the negotiations between Lott and the board.

In related news, Guy Brignon, who owns an apartment complex on Red Bird Lane in southwest Dallas, is going after a complex next door to his, alleging "a mounting crime and problem area." The owners of the neighboring complex aren't taking Brignon's threats lightly. Look for that on Unfair Park in the morning. --Robert Wilonsky

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