Former Tallahassee Housing Employee Arrested

By: Jerry Askin Email
By: Jerry Askin Email

Authorities arrested 46-year old Valerie Lewis Thursday charging her with 30 counts of management fraud, grand theft, and misuse of public office.

Lewis worked for the Tallahassee Housing Authority from May 2005 to January 2009. Her former supervisor says Lewis passed out more than $50,000 in housing vouchers, helping people to bypass the waiting list for Section 8 housing.

Melanie Peters say it took her nearly three years to get section 8 housing - and to have an employee cheating the system disturbs her.

Peters says, "It's really not fair because you have families that are waiting for somewhere to stay and hoping that they get the break that they need to move on in life."

Tallahassee Housing Authority Executive Director says, "Valerie Lewis' termination validates that quality control of files work, and if employees violate policy, they will be terminated.

Lewis is currently employed with the Wakulla County Housing Department. They refused to comment on allegations against their current employee and it is still unclear whether or not a proper background check was completed at her time of hire...leaving some residents in the county a little uneasy.

Wakulla County Resident Renee Calhoun says, "I just hope at this time that the county actually pays attention and does something about this."

The investigation is still ongoing. Stay tuned to WCTV to find out more on this investigation.

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  • by You Have No Clue Location: Tally on Mar 31, 2011 at 06:42 AM
    Valerie is NOT the only one, she was just stupid enough to get caught. Sure, as taxpayers who have never received benefits, the idea of giving people assistance when it comes out of your own pocket seems annoying. Just be thankful you have never needed assistance. I'm not speaking for the lazy people who choose not to work, I'm speaking about the people who are disabled or have serious medical conditions who otherwise would die without assistance. That's not the type of country we are, you have to take the good with the bad. Until we change the requirements for government assistance, there are going to be people who take advantage of it at our expense, karma is a b and in the end things have a way of working themselves out. They probably don't have a loving family, or education and will most likely end up going to prison/jail for selling drugs to supplement their already supplemented income. I've seen it happen MANY TIMES. Thankfully a company has taken over Wakulla's Section 8 and people who shouldn't be receiving assistance won't after this month.
  • by Roz on Mar 2, 2011 at 08:52 PM
    I hope Wakulla county dont think they did something by arresting one employee go and get the others that were involved I am sure there are more. One woman could not have been taking advantage of the system all by herself lets be real people.
  • by Betty Location: Tallahassee on Feb 16, 2011 at 02:59 PM
    It's about time she was caught. She isn't the only employee at Tallahassee Housing Authority committing fraud. I hope they lock up the whole lot. I know there are alot of property owners and managers who have questioned the methods of housing for years. They also allow people to destroy homes and move them on to a new one with no consequences.
  • by GET A CLUE Location: TALLA on Feb 15, 2011 at 08:46 PM
  • by taxpayer Location: TLH on Feb 15, 2011 at 07:41 AM
    Solution: Do away with section 8, welfare and public assistance. Let parents feed, clothe and educate the children they have. Live within your means, what ever those are. If you can't pay for it, you can't have it. What a concept.
  • by s Location: mh on Feb 14, 2011 at 04:43 PM
    I feel like race does not play a role in who they pick for HUD or Housing.They have a waiting list for everything.I stay in a place with HUD and the whole time i stayed in here i been playing rent.Im a full time student and work full time so you cant past judement on everyone that stays in HUD.And for all the people that say that blacks get more assisted than whites thats a lie.They all get the same,and for the person that said thats why people votes Republican,that why we in this mess is because of a republican,before people get on here judging people they need to know the if yall so mad than yall need to take that up with bush..dont pass judgement on blacks bc from my understand whites are doing the same things or its not so much of a race,its just how people are being raised.and staying in HUD has so many rules,u cant have no one staying with you,so if u do have a place where u can have your friend stay anytime enjoy
  • by Andi O Location: Macon Community on Feb 14, 2011 at 12:43 PM
    @Serena I said "Mothers & Families". I just happen to know the single women better in my area as I too am a single mom. And no Serena dear, I did not plan to be a single Mom thinking myself some superwoman after my marriage went south. Nor did my friend down the way who is raising a child who is in a wheelchair and has cerebral palsy. Nor my other neighbor who had a problem pregnancy and whose twin babies were born with special needs. I could go on... No, we did not all plan to have babies, be single and live off tax payers money. These Mom get up each morning, feed their children ready them for school and head off to their jobs just like the rest of the world. Please stop passing judgment on people without any clue who these people are or what their life is about. @Angry Everyone who applies for Public Housing is told of the waiting list. At times it's so long it has to be closed. If you need help get on the list. You may not need it when your name hits the top. All the better.
  • by Been There on Feb 14, 2011 at 11:46 AM
    Punta Gorda Housing Director mismanaged for years. It took two years to get HUD to investigate. She resigned before they investigated and they didn't look at the years that she was running the show and handing out vouchers and public housing to friends and family of friends. Nothing will be done until the federal government makes changes. HUD is as crooked as the criminals running Housing. Housing Authorities can set up preferences for working applicants - why don't they??? These would be good questions to ask. Housing is supposed to be a "hand up" when you are in need. Not a hand out for life!
  • by Beg To Differ Location: Wakulla on Feb 14, 2011 at 11:45 AM
    Im sorry but race plays a huge part in section 8, blacks get it a lot faster than a white. Its true perfect example I tried getting it down in Wakulla, keep in mind I work part time but was denied I was told to wait 3 years but a black friend of mine was apporved. Now I dont know if it was because Ms. Valerie apporved it so fast or if it was really because she was black and I wasn't. I have a full time job now and do not see how so many people were approved for section 8 I agree with "REALLY" the government needs to get control over this and give it to people who deserve it, not some girl with a bunch of kids, if the girl cant provide for her kids give the kids to families that can!!!!!! Stop enabling these people to not want to work because their bills are paid all the time.
  • by airborne on Feb 14, 2011 at 11:27 AM
    Proves my theory that in north Florida crime doesn't pay.....minimum wage.
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