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Marine Drive woman who alleged preferential treatment recants

A Marine Drive Apartments resident who alleged she received preferential treatment from the property manager with whom she was having an affair now tells a different story.

Yes, the affair occurred, Shalanda Faulks wrote in a June 1 e-mail to officials from state agencies and the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority, but the other allegations were "false and untrue."

Faulks said she made the accusations last month because she was upset with Henry M. Littles, the property manager, who "informed me that because of me being too emotional, he no longer wanted to be involved with me."

While residents of the waterfront property want more answers, Littleshopes to get his job back.

Faulks' original claims of an improper relationship and favored treatment were e-mailed to BMHA officials, a state agency with oversight responsibilities and Erie Regional Housing Development Corporation, which hired Littles.

Littles, who is married, has denied the accusations and said he resigned on May 24 immediately after they surfaced because he did not want to subject his family to "this nonsense."

At the time, he said Faulks was in the process of sending an e-mail recanting the accusations. And on Thursday, he acknowledged that he had received several messages from Faulks "stating that she wanted to recant."

"I look forward to returning to my position as soon as possible," he said in response to Faulks' June 1 statement.

Michael Seaman, chairman of the Housing Authority's board of commissioners, would not comment during Thursday's BMHA meeting on the possibility of rehiring Littles. But earlier in the week, he said a preliminary financial review of Faulks' unit showed nothing inappropriate. Also, officials are currently doing an evaluation of the apartment "to make sure it got no special perks."

However, the 1,000 residents of Marine Drive want more confirmation.

The residents council has made requests for an independent financial and management audit, especially because Erie Regional's contract expires at the end of August, said Joseph Makowski, an attorney representing the council.

Also, Makowski recently requested that the Common Council and the state Department of Housing and Community Renewal do audits, and also asked the BMHA to clarify its management and finance audit.

"We want to create a baseline around the question of contract renewal," Makowski said. "And [the Department of Housing and Community Renewal] has to answer how it will proceed in the management issue."

e-mail: dswilliams@buffnews.com

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