While Carl Greene has been the subject of glowing praise for his work as executive director of the PHA, this isn't the first time his financial decisions have been called into question.

A handful of former PHA attorneys have alleged since 2002 that they've been fired or punished for disclosing irregularities in PHA's operations.

* In April 2002, Greene fired longtime PHA attorney Michael Pileggi from his job as associate general counsel for allegedly living in Haddonfield. But in a "whistle-blower" lawsuit, filed in federal court, Pileggi claimed that Greene canned him after he raised questions about the "misuse of public funds and illegal activities" at PHA.

Pileggi said he discovered that then-acting chief counsel Marc Woolley had failed to notify PHA's insurance carrier about more than 20 suits brought against the agency.

Pileggi also alleged that Greene routinely directed PHA's police department to investigate employees who ran afoul of Greene. In July 2005, PHA settled Pileggi's lawsuit. Pileggi declined to comment yesterday.

* Another PHA attorney, Kenneth Chotiner, claimed in a lawsuit that Greene fired him in July 2002 for reporting that Woolley lived in Delaware. The case was not successful and Chotiner did not return calls yesterday.

* And former PHA attorney George V. Troilo said agency officials pressured him to violate regulations to expedite the payment of large sums to politically connected law firms. Reached by phone yesterday, Troilo, who now works for the Delaware County Office of Housing and Community Development, said the proceedings were sealed and declined to comment on the resolution of the case.

PHA spokeswoman Nichole Tillman could not immediately provide a settlement amount in the Pileggi case or discuss details about the other suits.

"Those cases were resolved five years ago and involved no findings or admission of liability on the part of PHA," Tillman said.

Internal PHA lawyers weren't the only ones to question the agency's handling of its legal books.

In 2003, officials with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development raised eyebrows over PHA's many costly legal battles. At the time, HUD sent a letter to Greene, questioning why the agency was spending so much on legal fees to fight what appeared to be routine cases. HUD argued that PHA could settle the suits for far less.

PHA had spent millions on legal representation from the politically connected law firm Ballard Spahr, according to HUD.