A federal trial over Carl R. Greene's ousting from the Philadelphia Housing Authority remains on hold as the sides attempt to negotiate a settlement, according to sources close to the situation.

Greene is suing his former employer on the ground that his contract with the agency guaranteed him $743,000 in income lost after his dismissal. He also is seeking damages for the way his dismissal was handled.

Both sides met privately Wednesday for a settlement conference before Magistrate Judge Thomas J. Rueter, according to court records.

Although the trial is being heard before District Judge Ronald Buckwalter, any settlement in the nonjury case would have to be worked out with a magistrate judge.

Neither PHA spokeswoman Nichole Tillman nor Greene's attorney, Clifford Haines, would discuss the status of talks.

PHA Commissioner Estelle Richman also could not be reached for comment. Any settlement would have to be approved by Richman, the sole member of PHA's board since the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development placed the agency in receivership two years ago.

The federal trial, which started Jan. 29, was interrupted Feb. 6 for settlement talks.

Testimony was expected to last three weeks. Greene was the last witness to take the stand, but has yet to be cross-examined.

Greene was fired on Sept. 23, 2010, by PHA's five commissioners for cause. Based on an investigative report by former PHA Board Chairman John F. Street, Greene was cited for settling sexual harassment complaints without telling the board; creating a hostile work environment; abandoning his duties; and his personal financial problems. His behavior, the board said, damaged PHA.

PHA, through its insurer, has spent close to $1 million defending itself in the lawsuit.

Contact Jennifer Lin at 215-854-5659 or jlin@phillynews.com, or on Twitter @j_linq.