NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WHAS11) – A sudden outburst as people yelled ‘shame’ during the final moments of a New Albany Housing Authority Board Meeting when board members voted to terminate Housing Authority Director, Bob Lane.
“It just doesn't make sense,” Susan Ryan, who was at the meeting, said.
Lane immediately walked out of the meeting, choosing not to comment with WHAS 11 News, as he was embraced with hugs and shock.
“It's just hard to believe, it's hard to believe,” resident and former Board Commissioner, Ruthann Wolfe, said.
Chairman of the NAHA Board, Irving Joshua, defended the decision by the board.
“We're not talking about someone trying to do something bad for the individuals here, we're talking about someone who has a difference of opinion on the direction we want to go,” he explained. “What we're trying to say is that' he's in a position where we're not going to be able to move forward.”
The vote comes after a recent decision by Housing Authority Board members to tear down more than 600 public housing units, like Parkview Terrace, where Brandon Brown has lived for five years.
“I just have to wait and see what the housing is going to do as far as approving the tear down and all this, so basically just sit and wait, sit and wait,” Brown said.
Many showed up at the meeting Monday night hoping to hear answers to those concerns, but no one was expecting the dismissal of Lane.
“He was trying to change the places around here, he was trying to make everybody, so we could have a place to live,” Parkview resident Ruth Williams said.
Lane previously told WHAS11 the board rushed into the demolition plan without required federal paperwork.
"Before we can do a demolition permit or anything like that, the study would have to show that property would not be able to be rehabilitated and would need to come down,” Lane said in April.
Joshua told WHAS11 News the plan would not likely affect the hundreds who live there now.
“H.U.D.D. doesn't allow us to take people and put them out on the streets, so it's not going to happen. We don't want to do that in the first place, but it's not legal to do that so it's not going to happen,” Joshua said.
People at the meeting said Lane was their only cheerleader.
[He was] somebody that we looked up to, that helped us out and was fighting for all of the residents around here, and now we don't have nobody,” Williams said.