Executive director on paid administrative leave

AMHA Executive Director Jim Noyes 

ASHTABULA — The Ashtabula Metropolitan Housing Authority is being investigated by the state Office of the Inspector General.

The Housing Authority has been under scrutiny for the past 28 months, but officials say they don’t know exactly why, but they do know the investigation involves Executive Director Jim Noyes. Consequently, on Nov. 14, the AMHA Board of Commissioners placed Noyes on paid administrative leave, according to Carl Muller, a Cleveland attorney hired to represent AMHA. 

“We are not trying to be evasive,” Muller said. “We are not sure exactly where this is going.”

Kevin Peterson has been appointed acting executive director in the interim, Muller said.

AMHA Board member Steve Sargent said he’s not saying Noyes did anything wrong.

“But we know he is part of the investigation, so we thought it prudent to have him on leave,” he said.

AMHA’s Board of Commissioners consists of Sargent, Tony Collette, Amy Coursen, Betty Jackson and Mark Astorino. Ashtabula attorney Thomas Simon serves as counsel.

Any further questions about the investigation must be submitted to Muller, according to a press release received Wednesday from the board.

According to the Ohio Inspector General’s Office, at the conclusion of the investigation, a report will be completed and provided to the governor and the AMHA Board of Commissioners. The report may include recommendations for the agency to consider in addressing and avoiding the recurrence of fraud, waste, abuse or corruption — if any such abuses are uncovered by the investigation.

When appropriate, a report of investigation may also be forwarded to a prosecutor for review to determine whether the underlying facts give rise to a criminal prosecution, according to the Inspector General’s website.

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