Former District housing director Robert L. Moore, fired recently from his job as director of the Camden (N.J.) Housing Authority, is in Washington Hospital Center undergoing treatment for drug abuse, according to sources.
Moore, 46, was fired from the New Jersey job March 20 after allegations of misuse of funds and unsatisfactory job performance. The FBI is investigating the allegations, according to New Jersey officials.
The hospital would confirm only that a Robert L. Moore with the same age and local address as the former housing director is at the center, undergoing an intensive treatment program. Sources said the patient is in fact the former city official. Moore could not be reached for comment.
Moore, who ran the D.C. housing department from 1979 though 1982, had primary responsibility for overseeing the troubled $13 million Bates Street redevelopment project. After a federal grand jury investigation of the project, three of the developers pleaded guilty to felony tax charges related to their receipt of project funds.
Moore was investigated for having thousands of dollars of work done on his home by companies that were at the same time subcontractors on the project. Sources familiar with the investigation said last year that Moore provided prosecutors with canceled checks for the work, which supported his statements that he had paid for the work, and the case was closed.
Moore was hired in October for the $45,000-a-year job of running the public housing projects in Camden after a close vote by housing authority commissioners.
He was fired at a closed meeting in March after commissioners questioned more than $1,500 in expenditures, including a $973 hotel bill and purchase of a $269 color television, according to the authority's attorney, Wayne R. Bryant.
Yesterday, Camden housing commissioner Elsie Feliciano said she still supported Moore, despite the allegations that funds were misused and what she called rumors of drug use that circulated around Moore. She described him as caring and hard-working.
"Nobody knows for sure why he was fired," she said. "Not everything is on the table. As far as I am concerned he did a hell of a job and I want him to come back to defend himself."
She said Moore called her in early April from Washington and said he was being treated for a bad back. "He apologized to me and then said, 'I did the job to the best of my ability,' " she said.
According to the Camden Courier-Post newspaper, Moore told officals that the hotel bill, which was for his living expenses before he obtained a permanent residence, was paid by the authority by mistake and without his knowledge. He also told the housing authority that the television set was for his office because he often worked late and he wanted to watch the news, the newspaper said.