SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

September 2, 2013

Manchester housing agency suing accounting firm

MANCHESTER — The local branch of the state-run public housing authority has filed suit against its own accounting firm for an alleged breach of a contract that went into effect in 2006.

The complaint, filed in Essex County Superior Court earlier this month, indicates that the Manchester Housing Authority is seeking undefined damages from J.L. Regan & Associates Inc. of Methuen, or it would like the company to complete what the housing agency says is the remaining terms of their contract.

According to the complaint, the MHA agreed to pay the finance firm $378 monthly for 60 months — or $22,680 — and that the fee could have been adjusted annually. But the MHA is claiming certain parts of the contract were not honored.

“Specifically, after repeated demands by MHA, Regan has failed to provide MHA with the following reports,” the court document reads.

Those reports include information regarding a revolving fund trail balance, general ledger, revolving bank reconciliations and management books balances that were due July 30, 2011, and prior to that, as well as depreciation reports, a paid days off schedule, and a report for a development on 12 Summer St.

Paul B. Cullinane, the Salem-based lawyer representing the housing authority, declined any comment for this story when contacted on Friday, while the director of the housing authority was out of the office until Tuesday.

A representative of J.L. Regan & Associates also declined to comment on the story Friday and would not say if the accounting company has tapped a law firm to represent them.

The New England Regional Council of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials includes 250 agencies throughout New England; Joseph L. Regan of J.L. Regan & Associates Inc. is listed as the company’s treasurer as of 2012, according to their website.

The group advocates affordable and safe housing for New England residents, namely those with low- to moderate-income.

The accounting firm, meanwhile, handles services for other housing authorities as well.

In 2011, The Hartford Courrant reported Regan was the acting director of finance in East Hartford after the previous finance manager was terminated.

The contract with the public housing authority began in March 2006 and ended June 30, 2011. Court documents show the accounting firm has until December to file a response to the complaint.

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