By Amy Julia Harris.

A government probe into allegations of nepotism and fraud at the Richmond Housing Authority has expanded, with local police now joined by a team of FBI agents, federal housing investigators and county prosecutors.

Capt. Mark Gagan of the Richmond Police Department said the focus of their investigation is Debra Holter, the agency’s asset specialist, who heads the maintenance department for the East Bay city’s dilapidated public housing.

“They’re looking into how the housing authority approved contracts and the accounting of assets and resources at the Hacienda housing complex,” Gagan said.

Last year, The Center for Investigative Reporting revealed squalid conditions for the more than 100 seniors and disabled residents of the Hacienda housing complex. For years, residents complained that their persistent struggles with mice, mold and plumbing leaks were ignored by the housing agency.

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