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Mobile Housing Board Exec. Director terminated after sizable tax money hack

(image: WPMI) Mobile Housing Board Exec. Director terminated after sizable tax money hack

Last week we told you how hackers targeted the Mobile Housing Board. The board says former CFO Lori Shackelford wired $478,000 tax dollars mistakenly to thieves, who she thought were contractors working on the demolition of Roger Williams. Today, the board fired its executive director and cited this hacking as one of the reasons why.

“I can just say that it opened our eyes to how sophisticated these scams are. We were all caught by surprise. I didn’t know it existed to that level. Mrs. Shackleford was a long-time employee with the agency, and I know that in her mind she was talking to the people we contracted, but there were a number of red flags that were not caught and that led to this scam actually working," said Mobile Housing Board Chair Kimberly Pettway.

Shackelford apparently was not disciplined and was allowed to retire this summer. The entire ordeal one of nearly a dozen reasons cited today for firing executive director Akinola Popoola, who had served in his post less than a year.

"It was unfortunate but all we can do is pick up the pieces and move forward," said Mobile Housing Board Commissioner Reid Cummings.

The board also said Popoola was insubordinate, had conduct unbecoming, failed to address an infestation at a complex, and failed to use his sick time while away from work. The board also found Popoola mismanaged a project that resulted in overages of $800,000.

“We are writing a letter that will be very detailed and lengthy, giving more substance to those individual details that the attorney referred to today and we expect that letter out by tomorrow for sure,” said Cummings.

An attorney representing Popoola says he is in Nigeria right now tending to his sick mother. No other comment was provided.

Pettway says the FBI is investigating the hacking.

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