'Hostile' DeSantis-appointed FL housing chief suspended for the second time over 'severe' conduct

'Hostile' DeSantis-appointed FL housing chief suspended for the second time over 'severe' conduct

Mike DiNapoli, Florida's state affordable housing director appointed by Republican governor and 2024 GOP candidate Ron DeSantis, has been placed on leave from his position for the second time, Tampa Bay Times reports.

This comes DeSantis reinstated the Florida Housing Finance Corp. (FHFC) leader last month, just weeks after his July suspension during "an inspector general's investigation into his six-month tenure as executive director," according to Miami Herald.

Per Tampa Bay Times, the FHFC board voted Friday, September 8 to place DiNapoli on paid "administrative leave for a second time after an investigation determined he created a hostile work environment and violated other policies."

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Tampa Bay Times reports Chris Hirst, the inspector general's report "revealed the contents of a two-month investigation into DiNapoli, whose appointment by DeSantis in February has roiled the close-knit organization. The corporation is effectively a multibillion-dollar bank for the state, distributing hundreds of millions of affordable housing dollars each year and issuing bonds."

The newspaper also notes:

DeSantis spokesperson Jeremy Redfern blasted the board as being the 'deep state' and said the administration would 'explore every available tool to ensure proper management and oversight of the board and its staff, including the Inspector General.'

'It's clear to us that at least some members of this Board believe they can wield unchecked power to recklessly disparage a public official and tarnish his reputation without basic fairness and due process,' Redfern said in a statement. 'The Board is clearly incapable of exercising prudent judgment.'

The Florida Times-Union reports the internal inspector general's report found that DiNapoli "engaged in inappropriate behavior by the organization's standards that included yelling at employees, interrupting them, and threatening their job security."

Furthermore, Florida Times-Union notes, "Almost 10% of the corporation's staff, 15 employees, have left or been fired from the organization during DiNapoli’s six month tenure, but the inspector general could not be sure all exits were due to the boss' behavior."

Hirst emphasized, "The conduct is severe and pervasive enough to create a work environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile or abusive."

READ MORE: DeSantis ends FL housing chief’s suspension despite probe into alleged 'hostile work environment'

Tampa Bay Times' full report is available at this link (subscription required). The Florida Times-Union's report is here.

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