CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- It's not unusual for the Charlotte Housing Authority to evict a tenant.
It is unusual for the Charlotte Housing Authority to evict one of its own Board of Commissioners. But that's just what the agency has gone to court to do - evict its only Resident Commissioner.
CHA staff says Resident Commissioner Lucille Puckett should stick to the rules like any other tenant and she broke those rules when she met repeatedly with a 24-year-old man who had been banned from CHA property.
Puckett says the CHA staff was looking for an excuse to boot her out since she challenges the ban policy and advocates to get former residents and visitors removed from the banned person list.
Puckett lives with her children in Dillehay Courts off of 30th Street between North Graham and North Tryon streets.
I have eight biological children and I have five adopted children, she says, So I'm like the mother of the housing authority or around here in Dillehay.
In court Puckett did not dispute that she met with a man banned from public housing several times on CHA property.
That man was banned from public housing after a misdemeanor conviction for possessing less than a half ounce of marijuana.
Since my mentoring or my coming into his life there have been no incidents of any of that, she says.
Puckett accused the CHA of retaliating against her.
I seem to be a problem for them, she says.
Puckett says she has challenged CHA's ban for years and advocated for other tenants to get their names off of the banned person list.
CHA issued a statement saying the agency treated Ms. Puckett no different from any other resident.
Spokeswoman Jennifer Gallman says the agency treats all residents equally, ...with the same level of objectivity and adherence to our policy as any other resident would receive.
But Ms. Puckett says CHA staff does have discretion in who to ban and who not to ban.
There's no hard rules about what constitutes you being banned, she says. We have a person right here in Dillehay Courts right now where a 17-year-old has 18 felony, armed robbery, burglary charges, breaking into stores, breaking into people's homes or what have you. That household has not received the first lease violation.
Ms. Puckett will remain on the CHA board while she appeals her eviction.
CHA spokeswoman Jennifer Gallman says if CHA staff knows of a person on the lease with a criminal history the agency will take action.