IRS put lien on ex-Mich. housing chief's house

LANSING (AP) - The federal government once put a $105,000 tax lien on the house of the head of Michigan's housing agency, who resigned after coming under scrutiny for seeking state reimbursement for expensive flights and meals, a newspaper reported Monday.

The Internal Revenue Service placed the lien on Scott Woosley's home in Rochester in November 2012, but lifted it in January 2013 after he paid his taxes, according to The Detroit News. He was director of State Housing Development Authority at the time.

Michigan also placed a separate $12,000 tax lien on Woosley's house. It was lifted two weeks before Republican Gov. Rick Snyder named him housing chief in 2012.

Woosley resigned last Friday after the Detroit Free Press reported a pattern of expense-account use for luxuries, based on public records obtained by Democrats. The records show that he stayed in hotels that cost $400 to $500 a night and rented a limo in Nebraska after mistakenly flying to the wrong city.

"How is (it that) someone who is being pursued by the federal and state government for massive unpaid taxes gets appointed by the state to oversee housing? It's a bit ironic that he was going over to run an agency to dispose of property that came into (Michigan's) possession because of unpaid taxes," said state Democratic Chairman Lon Johnson.

Snyder spokeswoman Sara Wurfel said the governor had no knowledge of the tax liens. Snyder also has changed his approach to hiring in recent years, she said in an email.

"Our vetting process is different and far more thorough now," Wurfel said, pointing out that Woosley has taken care of the tax issues.

Snyder is seeking a second four-year term in November in a race with Democrat Mark Schauer.

Published: Wed, Aug 13, 2014