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State official: Grand Forks city official had appearance of conflict in subsidized apartment

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A Grand Forks city employee who works in the department run by her father must move out of an apartment that has been subsidized by a federal program managed locally by her father's department, according to city and state officials.

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Greg Hoover, director of the city's Urban Development Office, said he had no role in his daughter qualifying for the apartment and simply "forgot" about the possible appearance of a conflict.

The situation is being remedied now that Ashley Hoover plans to move out at the end of the month and a public notice has been made of the violation, said Paul Govig, director of the community services division in the state Commerce Department

The department awards federal funds to affordable housing projects. Govig told city officials in March about the problem.

The subsidy amounts to about 35 percent of Ashley Hoover's apartment. She qualified as a low-income renter, her father said.

And no one disputes that. But a regulation of the federal program subsidizing the apartment prohibits conflicts of interest involving family members, "real or apparent," Govig said. He said it does appear to have been on honest mistake by city officials, including the Hoovers.

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