Biloxi Housing Authority Director Leaving - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

10/02/02

Biloxi Housing Authority Director Leaving

Edward Jagnandan took over as Director of the Biloxi Housing Authority in October of 1998. Over the years, he has been credited with sprucing up the city's public housing complexes, and pushing to revitalize East Biloxi with a $35 million HUD grant. But soon, Jagnandan will be gone.

Biloxi Mayor AJ Holloway said "I think it's an unfortunate situation that this is happening at this time, with so much of the positive things that the Housing Authority has going for him right now".

Dorothy Smith has lived at the Oakwood Village housing complex for almost 25-years. She praises Jagnandan for changing the look and the image of public housing. Dorothy Smith said "It's gotten a lot better. They fixed the place up. They don't be all that fighting and stuff that used to be out here, drugs and stuff".

News of Jagnandan's impending resignation caught Smith off guard. Smith said "Really shocked, 'cause I ain't have no idea he was going to resign".

Why Jagnandan is resigning is still a mystery. However, he faces several lawsuits. WLOX News has learned that four women who have worked for the housing authority have filed separate sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuits against Jagnandan, and the Biloxi Housing Authority.

In one lawsuit, a woman claimed Jagnandan privately subjected her to "unwelcome, offensive, humiliating and embarrassing comments and conduct of a sexual nature." Another lawsuit accuses Jagnandan of making "public, derogatory and discriminatory comments directed toward her, in particular, and women, in general."

When WLOX asked Housing Authority Board Chairman, Delmar Robinson, if those lawsuits had anything to do with Jagnandan's leaving, he said "No". Robinson also said "The resignation has nothing to do with fraud, waste and abuse or any inspections we've had. It's a personnel issue".

WLOX tried to contact Edward Jagnandan. We were told he was not in the office, and he did not return any of our phone calls. The Biloxi Housing Authority Board will meet on Monday to handle Jagnandan's resignation.

By: Trang Pham-Bui

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