An administrative judge this week upheld the suspension of California financier A. Bruce Rozet from federal housing programs and accused his company of "negligence and arrogance" in its management of one of the country's biggest portfolios of subsidized apartments.
"Too many problems, serious and still unresolved, were created, exacerbated, and allowed to run amok" by Rozet's firm, Judge Jean S. Cooper said in her opinion, adding that "the improper conduct of the corporation must be imputed to" Rozet, its chairman, and Deane Earl Ross, its chief executive. She also faulted the Department of Housing and Urban Development's oversight of the company.
The judge concluded that Housing Resources Management Inc. misused tenants' security deposits or improperly billed HUD for rent subsidies when apartments were vacant.
Anne J. Chiavello, a lawyer for the company and its executives, said they would appeal the decision to HUD Secretary Jack Kemp and to U.S. District Court, if necessary. Given that Rozet and his associates control tens of thousands of subsidized apartments and that the judgment involved only isolated problems, "I think they should be given a medal," Chiavello said.
HUD suspended Rozet and his affiliates in January.
Rozet, an active Democratic Party fund-raiser, said at the time that he was the victim of a partisan vendetta by the Republican administration.
Ruling on an appeal from Rozet, the judge ordered that his suspension should remain in effect until an ongoing government investigation of his business and any ensuing disciplinary proceedings are completed.
Rozet's housing projects include Glenarden in Prince George's County. Until one of his partnerships went bankrupt, Rozet also controlled Tyler House in Northwest Washington.