PASADENA — The former manager of Kings Villages has been arrested for allegedly taking money from prospective tenants in exchange for preferential status on the waiting list for apartments at the federally subsidized housing complex.
Reggie Carroll, who was fired by the project's management company on Aug. 22, was arrested Monday by Pasadena police and booked on charges of grand theft. He was released on $1,500 bail, Detective Lt. Robert Montoya said.
Carroll was arrested after a prospective tenant complained to police that he had given money to Carroll "in return for consideration for renting some properties," Montoya said.
The day after Carroll was fired, G & K Management Co., which oversees the 313-unit complex in northwest Pasadena, informed police of similar complaints, Montoya said. At that time, however, Montoya said there was insufficient evidence for an arrest.
Montoya said that police have interviewed at least two possible victims and that there may be several others. He declined to say how much money Carroll allegedly took.
Federally subsidized housing such as Kings Villages has strict guidelines concerning waiting lists for apartments, Harris said. "It's governed by a first-come, first-served basis."
Harris said that when he fired Carroll, it was not known that the manager allegedly had been taking illegal payments. Carroll was fired because "he was not following procedures. He was failing to perform his duties," Harris said.
Attempts to reach Carroll for comment were unsuccessful.
Kings Villages, located on Fair Oaks Avenue in northwest Pasadena, has a troubled history dating back 20 years, when 440 households and 150 businesses--most of them owned by blacks--were dismantled to make room for the redevelopment project.
Many black residents and community leaders are still bitter over the displacement of hundreds of families for the project. Kings Villages became the focal point last year of a police crackdown on drugs and gang activity in the area.
In the past year, the city and the complex's owners have undertaken a massive improvement project at Kings Villages, including installing air conditioners in each unit, dividing the sprawling complex into five villages with separate managers and upgrading the landscaping and lighting.
"There's some real good things out there," Harris said. "We and the city are making real progress. This man was arrested, but that shouldn't upset what is going on out there."