Raleigh Housing Authority discusses exec's time off
Posted January 16
Updated January 21
Raleigh, N.C. — 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.