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Authorities to investigate Hickory housing agency

HICKORY, N.C. (AP) — Federal authorities are reviewing complaints about a Hickory public housing agency, where employees have been accused of sexually harassing tenants and misspending taxpayer money on personal gifts.

Hickory Mayor Rudy Wright told The Charlotte Observer Tuesday that the Department of Housing and Urban Development is investigating accusations levied in a 10-page complaint letter from three former Hickory Public Housing Authority administrators.

The administrators wrote in the complaint that agency leaders failed to respond when multiple female tenants reported that a male manager offered to pay their rent in exchange for sexual favors.

They also say that Housing Authority Executive Director Alanda Richardson used public money to provide administrators and other officials with iPads, cosmetics and other perks.

Richardson has acknowledged making the purchases with agency funds, but says the expenses were justified.

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