South Texas town’s housing authority hears details of former director’s questionable expenses

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Weeks after removing the agency’s executive director, La Joya Housing Authority board members finally got a look at some the questionable financial transactions she made this year.

According to The Monitor, a newspaper based in McAllen, then-executive director Frances Salinas turned in a long list of expenses that were described as “inappropriate” by the acting executive director, Cristi LaJeunesse. The full amount of the expenses were not disclosed to The Monitor.   

LaJeunesse presented board members with a list of transactions on Oct. 25 that included expenses for restaurants, hotels, and ATM cash withdrawals, according to the news report. Many of the expenses were prohibited under U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development regulations.

“The only way I can pay for any meals for a board member is if I take them out of town on training and they have to pay something out of pocket,” LaJeunesse told The Monitor. “I can only reimburse them directly for their cost.”

The financial documents also pointed to payments made to Salinas’ family members. The former executive director could not be reached for comment by The Monitor.

La Joya is a small town near the tip of southern Texas.

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