Candelario on the outs at BMHA as ‘document management’ contract raises eyebrows

A source inside the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority is telling The Chronicle that Assistant Director Modesto Candelario was called to City Hall this morning and told by Mayor Byron Brown that he must look for another job. Candelario is widely seen as the architect of BMHA’s privatization schemes.

Executive Director Dawn Sanders-Garrett is known as a “hands off manager” who many derisively call “a figurehead.” Candelario handles all day-to-day operation and management issues, despite lacking a four year college degree. Commissioner Joe Mascia tells us that Candelario earns $125,000 a year plus benefits, which includes use of a BMHA owned vehicle.

The news comes as rumors have swirled about Candelario’s relationship with Kim Stevens, the Executive Director of Bridges Development, an entity that is taking control of several BMHA complexes to avoid public oversight and federal regulations that are required of BMHA. Candelario and Stevens have been seen at a trendy Allentown nightspot.

Lucy Candelario is Modesto’s wife and Executive Director of the Belle Center, a West Side community center run by Erie Regional, the not-for-profit entity spun out of BMHA with close ties to the Brown administration.

In a phone call late last month, Mrs. Candelario refused to discuss the details of a “document management contract” that the Erie Regional Belle Center recently received from BMHA. Mrs. Candelario was aware of the contract but did not want to discuss what types of work duties, performance metrics, or deliverables are required of the contract.

Mascia tells The Chronicle that the Candelarios have since separated.

BMHA Chairman Mike Seaman has come under scrutiny in recent weeks for $4.5 million in debt that BMHA owed to the City of Buffalo, which he apparently helped to hide, even making the claim that the debt had been forgiven in 2014 auditor’s report. Seaman also serves as the City’s Director of Treasury and Collections and is the administration official responsible for collecting debts owed to the city.
Executive Director Dawn Sanders-Garrett’s leadership has been questioned following a “substandard management” rating issued by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, which came with a threat of federal receivership last year.
BMHA Assistant Director Modesto Candelario.
Elected BMHA Commissioner Joe Mascia.

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