Complaint accuses Rowan County Housing Authority board member of racial discrimination

A board member with the Rowan County Housing Authority is the target of a recently lodged complaint concerning racial discrimination.

Although details were sparse at presstime, James “Jeremy” Carter of Kluttz, Reamer, Hayes, Randolph, Adkins & Carter law firm sent a letter to the county commission that was received Friday.

Carter, the county housing authority board’s attorney, wrote with “deep regret” that a complaint had been filed with the Greensboro Field Office of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development against one of the board members.

“I have not seen the complaint, but have been informed it involves comments on the Internet that could be viewed as discriminatory,” Carter wrote in an email to the Post. “It is also my understanding that there is a pending review or investigation of the situation through HUD and that the HUD office will be sending further notice to Rowan County Housing Authority.”

The housing authority board still is awaiting written notification of the “full nature and scope of the complaint.”

If the allegations are true, the housing authority board member could have violated the prohibitions against discrimination based upon race in housing, Carter wrote.

Once HUD releases its findings, requirements and required actions to the Rowan County Housing Authority board members, they will in turn send that information to county commissioners who are charged with dealing out the discipline.

However, a county source privy to the situation said the complaint is against Malcolm “Mac” Butner, chairman of the housing authority board.

According to the source, Butner allegedly made remarks “that were not very complimentary of” African Americans during a meal prior to a meeting and is reportedly considering resigning as a result.

Butner did not return calls seeking comment by presstime.

Veleria Levy, chairwoman of the Rowan County Democratic Party, said the organization “would hope our commissioners are doing a better job of ensuring we have more diverse representation on the various boards.”

“We need more diverse appointments, and (commissioners) should make it a priority to make sure those things happen,” Levy said. “That diversity could circumvent something like this from happening in the future.”

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