Mobile Housing Board Executive Director Dwayne Vaughn officially announced to commissioners Wednesday during a monthly meeting that he would be stepping down, effective Feb. 28, ending his seven-year tenure as head of the city’s public housing authority.
Following the meeting, Vaughn said he had been thinking about resigning over the last 90 days and felt the time was right.
“The executive director job is extremely demanding,” he said. “At some point you wonder if it’s time … for a fresh start.”
During Vaughn’s time as executive director, the authority commenced a major redevelopment plan and encouraged the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to convert its entire housing stock to the Rental Assistance Demonstration program. The move to RAD could jeopardize some current MHB employees, but would allow the board to update its aging housing by teaming up with private developers.
The board saw challenging times under Vaughn’s direction as well, and his departure comes at a time of intense scrutiny. In 2016, HUD’s Office of Inspector General released a scathing report challenging the entity’s relationship with its nonprofit arm, Mobile Development Enterprises (MDE), and accusing MHB of mismanagement of funds.
Vaughn said the OIG report had nothing to do with his resignation.
“It’s time for new opportunities for me,” he said.
Although Vaughn said he wants to pursue new opportunities, he doesn’t yet know what they will be. He said he’s “going to take some time” first.
Vaughn’s announcement comes just a couple of weeks after he informed MHB employees that Matthew McClammey, MDE vice president of asset management and compliance, had tendered his resignation. In an email on Dec. 21, Vaughn wrote that McClammey was set to resign Jan. 13.
Since the email was sent, however, multiple sources confirmed McClammey has rescinded his resignation. Multiple sources also confirmed that Vaughn and McClammey, both of whom came to Mobile from the Atlanta area, were disagreeable.
Vaughn wrote that McClammey was still employed and “we do not make any other comments on employment matters.” Multiple sources have confirmed McClammey is a frontrunner to replace Vaughn, but McClammey has not returned a call seeking comment.
MHB Chairwoman Kimberly Pettway said the board hasn’t considered anyone as a replacement yet. As far as McClammey, she said she wasn’t even familiar with his resume and wouldn’t consider him a frontrunner. Pettway has previously said the board would begin a search for Vaughn’s replacement, but they would not rush to a decision.
Both Vaughn and Pettway said there were no other anticipated staff changes, other than the executive director’s departure. Pettway said she learned of Vaughn’s resignation on Wednesday, contrary to Vice Chairman Reid Cummings, who said Vaughn’s resignation was not a surprise. Cummings said the board and Vaughn had discussions about it before his announcement.
Cummings joined the board just as the OIG report was made public in early August, replacing Donald Langham, who had served on the board for 23 years. Langham’s abrupt departure last June allowed Mayor Sandy Stimpson to effectively have a controlling number of board appointees for the first time during his tenure.