PITTSBORO, N.C. (WNCN) – The executive director of the Chatham County Housing Authority is accused of rigging bids for government contracts worth thousands of dollars and taking kickbacks from friends or relatives who received them, according to federal court documents obtained Tuesday by CBS 17 News.
JoAnn Davis was listed on the authority’s website Tuesday as its executive director. She has held that position since 2012.
A federal grand jury charged her with wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and program fraud, according to documents filed Feb. 13 in the middle district of North Carolina in Greensboro and unsealed late last week.
She is due in federal court Thursday.
Davis is accused of using her position at the authority to fraudulently award contracts worth more than $200,000 to at least 13 friends and relatives from 2016-20 without following the requirements from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to open them up for bids if the cost exceeds $2,000.
These fraudulent contracts included services for housing inspections and training for staff and clients of the authority, documents show.
Davis and four other people face charges. There were 14 other co-conspirators involved who were not indicted.
Court documents show Davis’ friends and relatives submitted bid proposals for small purchase contracts — which HUD defines as falling between $2,000 and $100,000 — with the authority.
Others involved would make false bid proposals for these contracts, even using stolen identities and related company letterhead of actual individuals and/or businesses to compete against the bid submitted by Davis’ acquaintance, documents show.
Davis then would pick her acquaintance’s bid, with those documents indicating she did so knowing she was not following HUD’s bidding rules. They also indicated that at times, “no work would be performed” and other times a different friend or relative would perform it.
Davis is accused of taking kickbacks from those friends or family members receiving the contracts.
The story was first reported by the Chatham News + Record.