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State Board of Ethics approves new director for state housing agency, despite some conflict concerns

Michigan’s State Board of Ethics voted to allow the top candidate for the State Housing Agency Director to move forward in the hiring process despite her husband’s many business dealings with the agency.

The Michigan State Housing Development Authority chose Amy Hovey as its top candidate for its executive director in October. However, her husband’s companies have done work with the MSHDA on several projects, even accepting loans and tax credits from it, which posed a potential conflict of interest. In October, after the nomination, he expressed that he had no interest in ending his work with the MSHDA.

Susan Corbin, the MSHDA chair, told the Board of Ethics that the agency had prepared a plan for how it would ensure that the projects the Hoveys worked on would be kept completely separate. She also said she believed conflicts between the two would be “relatively isolated, infrequent, and limited.” To keep things above board, though, the agency went to the Board of Ethics to sign off on the plans.

The board voted 5-0 to approve Hovey’s appointment. The board’s official approval was required in order for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development to OK programs Hovey’s husband is interested in continuing to access. 

Hovey’s previous role was the special projects coordinator for the C.S. Mott Foundation in Flint. She will be the first female director of the agency, other than those who have served on an interim basis.

ARTICLE: RITA VOGT

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: MLIVE.COM

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