Michael P. Kelly’s sudden move from the Philadelphia Housing Authority to the D.C. government comes amid allegations of a workplace affair.
WPVI-TV in Philadelphia reported Monday that Kelly’s resignation was related to a “consensual affair” he’d had with a senior aide at the public housing agency there.
The station reported that staffers under Kelly complained to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development about the affair, particularly that he had approved raises for her “despite having little or no credentials for the post.”
Kelly is set to take a $60,000 pay cut, from $225,000 to $165,000, in moving from his Philadelphia job to his new D.C. position, as head of the Department of Housing and Community Development.
Kelly has not returned calls for comment left at the Takoma home he owns with his wife. A spokesman for the Philadelphia Housing Authority said Tuesday she had no way of reaching Kelly, who resigned Friday.
Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s office did not mention any personal issues in a statement announcing Kelly’s hiring Monday. Gray administration spokesman Pedro Ribeiro had no comment Tuesday on the WPVI report.
But an administration official with knowledge of the situation but not authorized to speak publicly said Tuesday that Kelly was “upfront” and made Gray aides aware of the affair.
Kelly told administration officials the affair has since been broken off and that he did not use his office to benefit the woman, the official said, adding that Kelly also notified HUD officials.
WPVI reported that the woman in question “suddenly resigned three weeks ago and went back to her native country.”
The affair is the most serious issue to be raised about a Gray appointee since his pick for deputy chief of staff was forced to withdraw last year over concerns about her voting record. But Kelly, who led the D.C. Housing Authority for nine years, has strong local ties and maintains a good reputation here; his nomination won plaudits Monday from affordable housing advocates in the city.
Kelly is set to begin his D.C. job on July 2. Gray’s office has not announced a news conference to introduce him.