PHA Statement on the Mayor's Appointment of New Board of Commissioners

Philadelphia Housing Authority Commissioner Estelle B. Richman and
Interim Executive Director Kelvin A. Jeremiah's Joint Statement on the
Mayor's Appointment of PHA's New Board of Commissioners 

Today, Mayor Nutter has taken an important step in PHA's recovery effort by submitting to the City Council for its approval an impressive slate of nine individuals to serve as PHA's next Board of Commissioners.

By submitting the names of proposed Board members to the City Council, the Mayor and the Council President Clarke have taken a critically important step in the process of returning the Authority to local control after nearly two years in receivership. The choice of these members demonstrates that PHA will operate with the highest ethical standards in the years to come thus ensuring that the ethical violations of the past do not recur.

Over the last two years, PHA has put in place strong internal controls, has a stronger management structure, a new and staffed legal department with highly skilled attorneys; and a robust audit and compliance oversight department. Because of these and other important changes made at PHA, the agency is now well positioned to revert to local control.

We would like to commend Mayor Nutter and City Council President Clarke for their leadership on this important issue.

We are excited about this new Board and are looking forward to working collaboratively with the new Board to serve the needs and interests of our residents and our City.

The nominees are:

  • Joan Markman, the city's chief integrity officer.
  • Lynette Brown-Sow, vice president of marketing and communications for Community College of Philadelphia.
  • Nelson Diaz, a former city solicitor, Common Pleas Court judge, and general counsel for HUD.
  • Herbert Wetzel, former executive director of the Redevelopment Authority and now a housing expert for City Council.
  • The Rev. Leslie Callahan, pastor of St. Paul's Baptist Church in North Philadelphia.
  • The Rev. Bonnie Camarda, director of partnerships for the Salvation Army of Greater Philadelphia.
  • Shellie Jackson, a PHA tenant who lives at the Hill Creek Apartments in the Northeast.
  • Vernell Tate, also a PHA resident and president of the tenant council at the Spring Garden Apartments.
  • Kenneth A. Murphy, a partner at the law firm Drinker Biddle