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'Fun' Facing Retirement At State Housing Agency

'Fun' Facing Retirement At State Housing Agency

CREATED Nov 27, 2012

By Phil Williams
Chief Investigative Reporter

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- It looks like the word "fun" may be heading for retirement from the official mission statement at Tennessee's housing agency.

That comes as officials at the Tennessee Housing Development Agency deal with the fallout from a NewsChannel 5 investigation.

"Perhaps we would be well served to strike the word 'fun' -- it's become a charred term," suggested THDA board member Phil M. Baggett.

It came as the agency's new executive director, Ralph Perrey, briefed the board Tuesday on his plan to curtail the use of state money for expensive employee events, including parties and other team-building exercises.

The previous THDA boss had made having fun one of the agency's official values.

"We can have a rewarding place of work," Perrey said after the meeting.

"The word 'fun' -- though it was well meant when it was added to that value statement six or seven years ago -- it has become a symbol for something we don't want to be associated with."

Perrey also said the agency may bring in an outside auditor if questions are ever raised about the executive director -- since lawmakers have voiced concerns about the independence of the agency's own auditor.

E-mail: pwilliams@newschannel5.com