BRADENTON-- The investigation of two Bradenton Housing Authority officials continues. Executive director Wenston DeSue and Special Project Manager, Stephany West were removed from their positions after federal agents conducted search warrants at the facility and its storage unit.
"We were passing by and there was all this activity. All these police cars you know and I thought that somebody had been hurt or they had been robbed," said Paula King.
But, its wasn't a robbery King was witnessing. It was an FBI raid on the Bradenton Housing Authority, being executed on the behalf of the Office of the Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
"Two people had been fired and I was just really shocked over Mr. DeSue because I knew his father. I live out here when his father came in and he's one of my heroes" added King
The long time housing project resident is referring to the firing of the housing authority's executive director Wenston desue and Special project manager Stephany West. DeSue and West were escorted from the building then trespassed. They're now the subjects of a criminal investigation.
ABC 7 contacted HUD but we were told they could not give us more details about the investigation and they referred us to the U.S Office of the Inspector General. According to that agency's website they investigate cases of fraud and abuse in Medicare, Medicaid and other health and human service programs, including welfare. But their spokesperson could not confirm nor deny their involvement. In the mean time housing project residents say they are left in limbo.
"When his father came in, this place was kinda like a dump and he built this place up, he changed things and I just imagined his son would have followed in his footsteps. So I am shocked", said King.
DeSue's father is William DeSue. He ran the Housing Authority for years before Wenston was appointed director. King, says she's worried with Wenston out the violence in the area will increase.
"It has gotten worse lately and that's a little alarming. I don't know what going to happen you know," said King.