RI Housing exec offers explanation for firing

Rhode Island Housing's former deputy director says she was wrongfully fired because she wanted to probe possible financial irregularities involving federal funds at the Urban League of Rhode Island, The Associated Press reported.

Gayle Corrigan wants the board of Rhode Island Housing, a semi-independent public agency, to investigate her termination.

Corrigan was reviewing grants to the Urban League for the Safe Haven homeless shelter in Pawtucket. The shelter had problems including employees not paid for months, no heat and other issues.

In a statement to the AP, Corrigan said she recommended the agency assume responsibility of the grant and contact law enforcement.

An attorney at Rhode Island Housing had no immediate comment.

Urban League CEO Dennis Langley told The Providence Journal there was never any misappropriation of funds. He says his organization didn't meet payroll because of lack of money.

The NBC 10 I-Team was first to report Corrigan's firing on Wednesday. Her representative told the I-Team then that Corrigan was "not saying anything at this point."

Corrigan became Rhode Island Housing's deputy director in June making about $157,500 a year. Prior to Rhode Island Housing, she served as the receiver's chief of staff in Central Falls.

In 2012, while essentially running the city of Central Falls, the I-Team reported Corrigan was fired from her previous job under questionable circumstances.

The I-Team obtained a document from the Rhode Island Commission for Human Rights that said her former employer, Senesco Marine, claimed Corrigan was pocketing money in a labor scheme.

"Corrigan was terminated for cause as a result of violating her fiduciary duties to Senesco Marine, while an officer of the company. Unbeknownst to Senesco, Corrigan had incorporated and was surreptitiously running a staff leasing company which provided contract labor to Senesco, from which she was profiting," according to the document.

At the time of the 2012 reports, then-Central Falls receiver and former state Supreme Court Judge Robert Flanders told the I-Team he had no knowledge of Corrigan's firing and said he had no question about her integrity or competence.