JEFFERSON CITY | The executive director of the Missouri Housing Development Commission unexpectedly announced his resignation this week.
In a three-sentence letter to commissioners, Pete Ramsel said he would leave the office March 1, but offered no reason for the decision.
He could not be reached for comment, and MHDC officials have not responded to requests for comment.
State Treasurer Clint Zweifel, who serves as chairman of the commission, said he received the resignation letter Tuesday, but had not spoken to Ramsel and did not know what led to his resignation.
The Kansas City-based commission oversees nearly $500 million in assets and awards tens of millions of dollars in state tax credits annual to develop affordable housing statewide. It also provides low-interest loans to developers, helps first-time homebuyers and assists the homeless in finding emergency housing.
Ramsel was with MHDC for 15 years.
Following his announcement Wednesday afternoon, Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, who’s also an MHDC commissioner, praised Ramsel’s work.
“Pete has been a consummate professional during his tenure at the commission,” Kinder said in a statement.
But concerns have been raised in recent months regarding MHDC’s management. Last June, the State Auditor’s Office released an audit intensely critical of the commission, and there have been indications that an FBI investigation is underway as well.
The audit specifically questioned vague expenses totaling more than $20,000 that were billed to the commission by Ramsel and another executive.
When pressed by auditors, Ramsel said the bills were for legal services “relative to an ongoing investigation, the specifics of which we are not at liberty to discuss.”
He later told the press an FBI probe into the commission was underway, but gave no details on it.
On Wednesday, Zweifel said he had not been contacted by federal authorities and was unsure what they might be investigating.