A Department of Housing and Urban Development employee with two federally funded Section 8 apartments refused to vacate when she was caught and used a tax-paid civil rights organization to fight the government’s order to get out.
Markquonda Mathis rented one of the two subsidized units she obtained to her sister, Markquasha, who used it as a second home and to park her Lexus. Mathis faced no criminal or civil penalties even though she lied to federal investigators about the units, one of which was in the District of Columbia and the other in Alexandria, Virginia.
A 2014 HUD Inspector General report made public by The Daily Caller News Foundation earlier this month said housing authorities were moving to evict Mathis. That’s when Mathis turned to attorneys from the Neighborhood Legal Services Program, which is supported by the federally funded Legal Services Corporation.
In other words, Mathis was using one government agency to fight another government agency to preserve her right to defraud a third, all while drawing a paycheck from HUD.
In addition to sister Markquasha, Mathis has a second sister named Markeisha and brothers named Marko and Markquez. Markquez has been charged with nine crimes, mainly burglary, in Prince George’s County, Md., all of which resulted in no punishment.
A DC housing project employee named Macretia knew that the HUD employee had sublet her apartment to her sister, but did nothing. An Alexandria housing project employee named Marquisha did nothing to prevent Mathis from getting the second unit despite having access to a federal database designed to show double-dipping.
Alexandria housing authority chief Roy Priest said D.C. officials must have incorrectly entered her name in the database. “When we found out, our attorney moved to terminate her lease,” Priest told TheDCNF April 14. But “she went to Neighborhood Legal Services” for free legal counsel to fight the eviction.
Neighborhood Legal Services’ website says it uses the courts to “secure access to healthcare and public benefits” for the poor – even, apparently, fully-employed government employees who are trying to avoid consequences for deliberately defrauding the government.
Mathis was unsuccessful in her legal battle and was forcibly evicted in December 2014.
Luckily for her, rather than fire her for the fraud and for lying to the inspector general about it, HUD promoted her immediately after being caught. She now oversees millions of dollars in HUD grants as a grants officer dealing with lead abatement.
“She was a HUD employee, so that does not look good. To have anyone do it is wrong, but to have someone do it inside HUD is really bad,” Priest said.
But problematic employees are anything but scarce at HUD. Rayland Young, a HUD union president, was given a six-figure payout to secure his resignation after he told his female boss that he would “mop the floor with your ass,” then said a witness who saw the encounter was a KKK member who “should be shot.” Young also said HUD is filled with white supremacists who tried to keep him down by giving him a smaller desk than those given to Caucasian workers.
Two of HUD’s top employees were ordered by the Government Accountability Office to repay their salaries because they prevented a mid-level employee from telling Congress how their superiors intentionally ignored millions of dollars in fraud. But even though it places the agency in violation of the law, HUD has not said it will actually make them do it.
This report, by Luke Rosiak, was cross-posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation.