MODESTO — A nonprofit Modesto housing agency has parted ways with an executive director who had promised last year to establish reforms and ethical practices for the troubled organization.
Board members confirmed Monday that Tom Shanks no longer is executive director of Community Impact Central Valley, formerly known as the Stanislaus Community Assistance Project, or SCAP.
Tom Drury, newly appointed board president, said he would not discuss the reason for Shanks' departure, which was effective Jan. 1.
"No organization should comment on personnel issues. It was a mutual agreement," Drury said.
One official for CICV said Shanks was not moving fast enough to bring the nonprofit into compliance with Department of Housing and Urban Development rules. After a recent visit from HUD officials, the housing agency was given 60 days to comply with grant requirements and federal regulations, board members said.
HUD officials found that some tenants in CICV housing no longer qualified for the rental units or had not been certified.
Shanks did not return phone messages from The Bee. Chief Finance Officer Kathy Lee was appointed interim director of CICV.
In another change in leadership, former president and longtime board member Patrick Pokorny retired effective Jan. 1, leaving CICV with four board members.
SCAP became an embattled agency in May 2011 after The Bee reported that former development director Joe Gibbs had claimed $627,000 in grant-writing bonuses the previous year. Gibbs and his wife, Denise, the former executive director, also came under fire for how SCAP spent more than $8 million in federal housing funds and for letting employees or their relatives live in dwellings intended for special-needs tenants.
The board voted in November 2011 to suspend Joe and Denise Gibbs, who were terminated a month later. About 13 months ago, FBI agents served search warrants at the Gibbses' home and SCAP's former offices on Coffee Road in Modesto. No charges have been filed.
In September 2011, the SCAP board brought in Shanks and fellow consultant Jude Barry to institute reforms and rewrite the group's ethical protocols. Shanks was named executive director in March and led an effort to recast the nonprofit as Community Impact Central Valley, with offices on H Street in downtown Modesto.
Shanks lasted less than a year as executive director. He had worked under a contract paying him $98,000 annually. In an e-mail Monday, Barry said he has not worked with CICV since October, when his contract with the nonprofit expired.
"We believe very much in Tom's vision and we will do everything to move forward with ethical practices and serving the clientele of the community," Drury said.
He said the board will take time to find a manager who is the right fit for the organization. In the meantime, CICV will work on complying with HUD regulations and finishing renovations on a Coolidge Avenue apartment complex.
In July, the nonprofit fired a building contractor for shoddy work on the 550-square-foot apartment units at 221 E. Coolidge Ave. As of last summer, fewer than half of the 30 apartment units had been finished.
Drury said another contractor was hired and the work should be completed this month to meet a deadline for spending federal grant funds awarded to Modesto through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program. SCAP received $8.34 million through the program to buy and renovate foreclosed properties as rental units for people with disabilities or other special needs.
CICV also has a vacancy on its board and would like to expand to a seven-member board of directors, member Steve Dyer said. "We are always open for new board members," he said.
Bee staff writer Ken Carlson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 578-2321.