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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, February 4, 2010

Ex-housing worker pleads guilty to theft

By Rick Daysog
Advertiser Staff Writer

A former city housing employee accused of living illegally in a state affordable housing project has pleaded guilty.

Jerome Wallace changed his plea from not guilty on the first-degree theft charge on Jan. 13.

Circuit Judge Dexter Del Rosario has set an April 14 sentencing date for Wallace, who has asked for a deferred acceptance of his guilty plea.

He could not be reached for comment.

Wallace, 78, is a former worker in the city's Section 8 housing assistance program, where he worked with poor residents as they transitioned out of low-income housing projects.

He retired from his post on Dec. 31 after city officials placed him on leave without pay. A city investigation is pending.

Wallace was indicted by an O'ahu grand jury in November for defrauding the state's public housing program of more than $20,000 between 1999 and 2007.

State prosecutors had alleged that for nearly eight years Wallace lived in a state public housing project near Chinatown where he paid below-market rents because he listed himself as unemployed.

A city employee since 1998, Wallace had earned between $3,511 and $5,202 a month.

State officials said about 9,000 people are on the waiting list to get into state low-income housing projects.