Local News

Raleigh Housing Authority discusses exec's time off

Posted January 16, 2014
Updated January 21, 2014

— The board of the Raleigh Housing Authority met for more than two hours behind closed doors Thursday to discuss how much time its director spends out of the office, but no decisions were made.

Steve Beam has a $240,000 base salary to oversee the housing authority, which manages 2,000 public housing units in Raleigh. Nearly all of the agency's budget is funded by federal dollars, including Beam's salary.

The News & Observer newspaper reported recently that Beam had been taking nearly 11 weeks off a year with pay, some of which gave him time to pursue his side business.

Beam has a website, Trapdoor Productions, that says he has been inventing, performing and teaching card tricks for more than 30 years. He has declined to discuss his hobby publicly.

He did confirm to WRAL News that he took 20 comp days last year, but he said they were in exchange for working weekends.

Republican 13th District Congressman George Holding has called for a federal audit of the housing authority, but the agency's board chairman has voiced support for Beam, saying he has an excellent track record over nearly 30 years with the agency.

Beam declined to comment after Thursday's meeting.

"It's an ongoing issue. There were no final actions taken," he said.

It's unclear if the board will hold another special meeting, but Raleigh City Council members could question Beam about his time off next week, when he is expected to present the housing authority's annual plans to the council.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • keharrel50 Jan 24, 2014

    I find it interesting that these executives that are exempt can accrue comp time when those of us who hold it together and keep the lights on were told a few years ago that we (a) couldn't get the meager on call pay we had been receiving (~$1.25/hr) and could no longer get comp time for hours worked off hours because we were exempt and "expected" to work off hours. So, why would an executive be able to do that very same thing? If anyone would expect longer hours and weekend work, it should be an executive. Geez. Executives getting what they deny their workers; This is what is sucking the life out of the country...

  • Weetie Jan 17, 2014

    I love the way news media exaggerates and everybody just ASSumes they are right. Please wait til you hear the WHOLE story!

  • Obamacare prevails again Jan 17, 2014

    A side business teaching card tricks? Is this some sort of a joke? He sure knows how to make the taxpayers' dollars disappear with no return.

  • copperino Jan 17, 2014

    View quoted thread

    So he was hired and the Authority said "you can claim comp time for hours you work on evening and weekends", and you believe he should just say "no, I make too much money, I'll pass"? He is working within the rules he was given. He is not abusing anything.

  • enlightened Jan 17, 2014

    Salaries and work hours are relative to similar positions in other states, departments, organizations, etc. It seems he used what was available. So, we have let policies and salaries reach this level. Too late for us to say this one person has finally broken a straw. One person says 'tad too much time,' another says way too much pay and time off. Who are we to dictate? Hold him to the requirements and policies for that office, that position. I don't see that he abused any of it, just leveraged what already existed.

  • monami Jan 17, 2014

    Who's this guy's boss and why hasn't s/he been paying attention? WRAL figured out that Beam Is MIA one quarter of the year? Both of them should be fired. Why does this require more discussion?

  • sweetlyght Jan 17, 2014

    The audit is a good idea. I don't know if I can believe Beam took 11 paid weeks off just because the newspaper said so. An audit means hard facts. Was he or wasn't he paid for time off and if so how many days, is what I'd like to know.

    Paid comp. time is the norm in state jobs, so I'm not bothered by that, but there should be documentation showing he met the requirements of that comp time.

  • GALNC Jan 17, 2014

    I am a salaried employee too and make alot less then Mr. Beam. I am expected to work hours outside of 40 and sometimes weekends without "comp time" of 11 weeks of vacation. I also work on vacations has well.

    He really has some nerve. 240K has a base salary. 11 weeks off...and we wonder why we are in a fiscal crisis.

  • Dr Sanchez Jan 17, 2014

    This is almost as ridiculous as George Holding slouched over the speakers chair sounding zzzz's off into the microphone after a night out boozing. I do think 11 weeks off is a tad much. lol

  • mm23 Jan 17, 2014

    IMO When you make $240K a year you do not get comp time. $240K jobs are not 9-5, M-F. Comp time is usually reserved for non exempt/hourly employees. He is abusing the system here.