RIOC Fired Spencer-EL Over a Small Resume Miscue. Now, Why Not Haynes?


A resume miscue justified firing RIOC executive Erica Spencer-EL after 17 years with the state agency, according to her lawsuit against it. But a new discovery leads to more questions about President/CEO Shelton J. Haynes’s own, mysterious work history and resume. Are both being treated fairly? Or, as Spencer-EL asserts, was her firing retaliation for her actions as a whistleblower?

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

Before his time with RIOC, Mr. Haynes served as Chief Operating Officer at the Housing Authority of DeKalb County in Georgia, where he oversaw all agency operations, strategic and operational initiatives, and the executive management team.

Shelton J. Haynes’s RIOC Resume

Throughout his tenure on Roosevelt Island, Haynes has boosted of his work at the DeKalb Housing Authority in Georgia. He had a ton of responsibility and lots of success, he says. But in the fact-based world where you and I live, not a word of it can be verified. Quite the contrary.

Haynes’s chilly relationship with Spencer-EL was in plain view when he strode past her without a word at the 2021 ceremony commemorating 9/11.

Investigations showed no record of Haynes ever being the Housing Authority COO. Federal tax documents did not include him as a key executive during any of the years he worked there. In fact, there is no record of the Housing Authority having a COO position at all.

What we do know is that Haynes headed a housing voucher program there and that, in his final year, a federal investigation found nearly $1 million in misappropriated funds. Rather than the successes he claimed, there were massive systemic failures.

But Haynes left Georgia for New York and RIOC before the report was released. An informant who led The Daily to this information says he fled.

But what does his resume say? Well, most of it was redacted – blacked out – when supplied by RIOC in response to a FOIL request. But what may be a resume miscue includes skimpy details about Haynes’s time at the DeKalb County Housing Authority.

Note: the redacted resume will be attached below.

But New Information Elevates Questions Far Beyond Any Resume Miscue

The redacted resume shows Haynes starting out as Director of Operations at DeKalb in 2011 before becoming Chief Operating Officer a year later. Curiously, it shows him vacating that job in September 2015. But he does not arrive at RIOC for over six months. There is no explanation for the gap in employment.

That’s strange for a professional with his claimed successful experiences, but what’s even stranger is new information turning up in his LinkedIn profile online. According to those records, provided by Haynes himself, he never worked for the DeKalb County Housing Authority at all.

Instead, he spent the entire time plus the six month gap as Chief Operating Officer at the Affiliated Resources Group. That’s according to his current, active LinkedIn profile, although an earlier profile echoed what he told RIOC.

Which is the truth? And what’s with the contradictions, all Haynes generated?

Haynes Versus Spencer-EL in Perspective

After 17 years at RIOC in various positions under multiple CEO’s, Erica Spencer-EL was fired based on a resume miscue from more than 10 years ago. That’s according to a sworn statement in her lawsuit against Haynes specifically and others at RIOC. As CEO, Haynes was certainly part of that activity.

But although the justification for firing Spencer-EL appears weak, especially in light of her long tenure and whistleblower status, Haynes’s contradictory claims might be profound, depending on what the truth really is.

Did anyone go through Haynes’s resume with a fine-toothed comb as Tajuna Sharpe, Haynes’s personnel chief, did with Spencer-EL? Did RIOC’s superannuated board of directors arise from their naps long enough for even a cursory look?

During Spencer-EL’s time on Roosevelt Island, she accomplished some impressive things – multiple vibrant Fall for Arts Festivals; fun, inclusive Roosevelt Island Days; the Motorgate Art Gallery – while rubbing some co-workers as well as residents the wrong way at times. But none of that came into play.

Instead, there was the small, outdated resume miscue?

Why isn’t Haynes being held to the same standard?

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