Federal officials says Willie Hines’ new job a conflict of interest

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Willie Hines resigned his position as Milwaukee Common Council president to take another job -- but now, FOX6 News is learning that job is no longer his.

Hines thought he was moving into a job with the Housing Authority of Milwaukee -- but just two days after starting, the job was rescinded.

Hines resigned from the Milwaukee Common Council on January 31st. Hines served as president of the Common Council, alderman, and chairman of the board for the Housing Authority of Milwaukee.

It is Hines' time spent on the Housing Authority's board that is causing problems with his new job.

Hines' new job with the Housing Authority of Milwaukee began on February 3rd.

On February 5th, a letter from the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) was sent to the Housing Authority of Milwaukee saying the hiring of Hines is a conflict of interest. According to HUD, Hines can't work for the Housing Authority of Milwaukee until one year after he left his position with the Housing Authority's board.

Hines left his position with the Housing Authority of Milwaukee's board on January 31st -- so he would be eligible for the Housing Authority job in February 2015.

"(The Housing Authority) responded almost immediately and then per our request rescinded the hire. So he is not employed there at this point -- which tells me that they're sincere and interested in doing the right thing here," a HUD official told FOX6 News.

Now, the Housing Authority of Milwaukee is trying to get Hines' job back by requesting a waiver of the HUD rule.

An official with the Housing Authority of Milwaukee issued a statement to FOX6 News that reads, in part:

"We have submitted the additional information and are awaiting a response from HUD. Mr. Hines stepped down from the position as required by HUD while we await a resolution to the request."

"Section 19 of the ACC does allow for a waiver for good cause that can be approved up in our Washington headquarters office if that is appropriate. I don't think it's something that they fraudulently did or intentionally did. It was an oversight that should have gone through the normal process," the HUD official said.

The HUD official says this situation is pretty unique. His office has received the waiver request and should be sending it onto its headquarters within the next week or two.

If, for some reason, the waiver is not approved, Hines would not be able to take the job at the Housing Authority until February 3rd of 2015.

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