John Quinnan, a former real estate officer, was dismissed by officials from Nashville’s Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency after he complained about the agency wasting taxpayer dollars. Following this, the former real estate officer has now filed a federal lawsuit in Nashville’s Federal District Court against the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency (MDHA) on the grounds of age discrimination. The lawsuit seeks damages of $232,000 for compensatory and other damages. After filing a lawsuit, John Quinnan together with his Nashville-based attorney, Frank Steiner, refused to comment about the lawsuit.
According to the former spokeswoman of MDHA, Julie Oaks, the agency dismissed John Quinnan and other unspecified number of employees because of Congressional budget cuts to federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) programs. The agency officials offered severance packages to all employees in exchange for their agreement not to sue the agency but Quinnan, who was 70 years old at that time, refused to accept the offer. According to Quinnan, he refused to be silent about different inappropriate, improper and/or illegal MDHA transactions. Those transactions include:
First is the $300,000 that the MDHA fronted in federal funds to Affordable Housing Resources (AHR) just to purchase property for development in Davidson County, wherein the AHR used the property as collateral to obtain two loans from the Housing Fund which is a separate lending association staffed by MDHA’s employees. In 2010, AHR subsequently defaulted on the loans and prior to foreclosure then MDHA purchased the land back with associated debt. Quinnan complained about it because for him, it appeared that the purchasing of the property back was to circumvent the monitoring of the initial grant made by the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Next was the overpayment of $1 million made by the MDHA to a Nashville organization for a parcel of land for the Korean Veterans Parkway Project. His complaint is that the Tennessee Appraisal Commission did not review the appraisal as the law requires.
According to the lawsuit, after Quinnan shared his opinion, the MDHA officials, including the Executive Director Phil Ryan, limited his responsibilities and made numerous comments about his age and eventually dismissed him.
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