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September 18, 2012

Director of PAHA can keep $51K in unused sick pay

— The Port Arthur Housing Authority board of commissioners voted Monday to allow Executive Director Seledonio “Cele” Quesada to keep the $51,821 he accrued as a result of unused sick leave.

The executive director accumulated thousands of dollars in unused sick leave from August 2010 through December 2011, according to an audit conducted by the Regional Inspector General for the Housing and Urban Development Department.

But payroll documents obtained by the Regional Inspector General’s office in Fort Worth did not show that the payment was designated for sick leave, and the authority’s leave policy did not allow employees to be paid for sick leave, according to the June 1 audit. The board of commissioners disagreed.

Commissioner Bart Bragg moved to adopt the resolution authorizing Quesada’s sick leave payment. Commissioner Brenda Roy seconded his motion.

Quesada’s total compensation and benefits for the same year added up to $237,156, which did not reflect compensation from his unused sick leave. He was allowed to pocket the $51,821 for not taking sick days as a result of the ruling by the board of comissioners.

The executive director was one of the highest paid in the state, according to HUD.

PAHA board of commissioners spent almost an hour and a half in closed session, discussing the executive director’s contract before emerging to vote that Quesada was entitled to his compensated sick leave.

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