The executive director of the D.C. Housing Finance Agency, Thomas M. Zuniga, has resigned amid allegations that he charged $2,500 in personal expenses to an agency credit card.
Ruth Banks, a member of the agency's board of directors, said yesterday that Board Chairman Theresa L. Watson had confirmed that Zuniga submitted his resignation.
Zuniga was unavailable for comment.
Another board member, Malcolm Peabody, said Zuniga had recently been considering "some very good offers" of employment elsewhere. "That's probably one reason he's resigning," Peabody said. Peabody said he could not elaborate.
Sources told The Washington Post last week that Zuniga's alleged use of city funds to meet private expenses was being investigated by the FBI, the agency's board and the D.C. auditor.
The agency, which helps subsidize housing for low- and middle-income residents through the sale of municipal bonds to private investors, is operated by the board and run on a daily basis by a staff directed by Zuniga.
In a statement issued last Thursday, the board said that Zuniga had met with board members in a long executive session and that "the entire board is satisifed with his disclosure.
"To the extent that any personal expenses of approximately $2,500 were incurred by Mr. Zuniga against the agency's credit card, those expenses have been quantified by the agency's auditor, Arthur Andersen & Co., and full reimbursement has been made by Mr. Zuniga," the statement said.
The board at that time said that it had not asked for Zuniga's resignation.
"There are things I overlooked, and I have made full restitution for any personal items" purchased with the credit card, Zuniga said after the board's announcement.
The allegations surfaced in a lawsuit filed Dec. 7 in D.C. Superior Court by Kathleen I. Davis, the agency's former office administrator, who said she was fired by Zuniga after she questioned the expenditures in a letter to Watson last fall.
In her lawsuit, Davis contended that Zuniga had used the credit card to pay for personal expenses, including airline tickets for his children, and that he had authorized payment of agency funds without proper documentation.
Davis' suit asks for reinstatement to her job and $1 million in damages.
A lawyer representing the agency, John M. Gibbons, told The Post last week that the agency had denied any misuse of city funds in its response to the suit.
Zuniga was active in business before joining the D.C. government in August 1983 as a housing department official. He became executive director of the Housing Finance Agency last March.