SANFORD, FL-The five-member Sanford Housing Agency, funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, has a 30-day deadline to pay a two-year-old, $30,000 local bill for legal services or face damages and penalties totaling $450,000 in a state court lawsuit.

Southern Legal Counsel Inc. is suing the shelter group in Seminole County Circuit Court, alleging the agency’s $30,000 check in 1999 for legal services was returned for insufficient funds. Sanford (Pop. 40,000) is 30 miles north of Downtown Orlando. couldn’t reach the plaintiff and defendant. But Sanford city staffers familiar with the dispute tell on condition of anonymity the till at Sanford Housing Agency is empty and that HUD is considering dissolving the shelter group entirely later this year. HUD officials couldn’t be reached at’s publication deadline to comment on that speculation.

The current members at Sanford Housing Agency inherited a financial disaster when they replaced former colleagues in May of this year. Five executive directors have come and gone at the agency over the last five years.

Housing authority executive director Timothy Hudson set off the furor when he resigned in April among unproven allegations of fraud, mismanagement and malfeasance.

HUD has ordered the agency to replace $1 million in unauthorized funds it spent over the past five years on 1,200 public housing apartments in six complexes. The number of housing units is now down to 400 after 800 units were either shuttered or temporarily closed for major repairs. couldn’t reach Sanford Housing Agency’s current lawyer, Dean Mosley to learn what the agency would or could do if it is hit with a half million-dollar court judgment. Sanford city staffers tell Mosley, too, hasn’t been paid for his current services.

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