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Housing Authority Commissioner Evicted

The Charlotte Housing Authority today evicted one of its Board of Commissioners after an appeals process that ultimately landed in Mecklenburg County district court. By noon today the Sheriff's office had already locked the apartment of Lucille Puckett in Dillehay Courts and posted an eviction notice. Puckett has served for the last couple of years as the resident representative on the Charlotte Housing Authority's Board of Commissioners. "This has been a lengthy process," says Deborah Clark, communications director for the Charlotte Housing Authority. The CHA first attempted to evict Puckett in August 2010 for meeting several times at her housing authority apartment with a man that had been banned from the property. More than 3,000 people are currently on the "banned" list for at least one housing authority site because of various illegal activity. Residents who receive a "banned" visitor can be evicted. As a member of the housing authority board, Puckett has been critical of that rule and appealed her eviction in court. Clark says the legal battle with Puckett cost the Charlotte Housing Authority $89,000. Every resident has a right to appeal eviction, "from the magistrate on up to the district court, and this is the final result of the due process," says Clark. Mecklenburg County District Court has now upheld the eviction order. WFAE was unable to reach Lucille Puckett by phone or email. Neighbors today said she had already moved out of her Dillehay Courts apartment. A few doors down, Brian Ingram was surprised to learn of the eviction. Puckett is well-known as a neighborhood leader and community activist. But Ingram says, "The rules are the rules. I mean they tell you that from day one, and if one person can't have somebody banned in their house, than can't nobody else do it." Puckett's eviction also ends her service as Resident Commissioner on the board of the Charlotte Housing Authority. She was appointed to the position by the City Council in 2009.