Housing Authority Commissioner Dawn Gainwell-Dodd said the allegations that she does not live in Yazoo City are untrue.
Board member Danny Neely previously stated that he believes Gainwell-Dodd lives in Belzoni and should not be serving on the Housing Authority board.
It is state law and the opinion of the state attorney general that “a municipal housing authority commissioner must reside within the territorial jurisdiction of the housing authority as defined by Mississippi Code Annotated Section 43-33-1(g) which, in its definition of the term “area of operation,” provides that “in the case of a housing authority of a city, shall include such city and the area within five (5) miles of the territorial boundaries thereof.”
According to the Housing Authority, Gainwell-Dodd lists her residence at 376 Linda Blvd. in Yazoo City. That listing is a home inside the Roberts Estates, which is a public housing development associated with the Gateway Community Development Corporation. Gainwell-Dodd also serves on the Gateway board of directors.
Gainwell-Dodd contacted The Yazoo Herald and said she does reside in Yazoo City, entering into a lease agreement in 2010. She added that her driver’s license, voter registration and automobile are registered in Yazoo City.
“The only real residence I have is in Yazoo City,” she said. “I don’t own a house anywhere else.”
Gainwell-Dodd said she is a contract worker, which requires her to travel and stay at various locations. But she said her home is in Yazoo City.
Gainwell-Dodd also said she disagrees with The Yazoo Herald article that stated she had two automobiles registered in Humphreys County, with the address listed as 712 Martin Dr. in Belzoni. She said those registrations are listed under her and her husband’s name. She added that her husband does live in Belzoni.
The Yazoo Herald acquired those registrations through public records.
Gainwell-Dodd provided The Yazoo Herald with a photograph of a vehicle tag registered in Yazoo County. She said the vehicle is registered in Yazoo County under the name “Dawn Gainwell.”
The Yazoo Herald was unable to confirm the registration as of press time.
Gainwell-Dodd also wished to give her side of the story following a heated outburst between her and Commissioner Danny Neely during a recent Housing Authority board meeting.
“During executive session, Chairman John Meeks told Danny Neely he was not following our rules and was breaking our confidentiality agreement by sharing our business with the city clerk,” she said. “Danny Neely also went into executive session with the city without consulting us at all.”
Gainwell-Dodd said when Neely attempted to leave the Housing Authority meeting, the outburst occurred.
“He told me that I was trifling, and that everybody was talking about me all over town,” she said. “I admit I told him that when he (ran for judge), he only got three votes from him, his wife and his sister. Nothing was said about his child.”
Gainwell-Dodd was Neely was the aggressor during the argument, adding that Commissioner Richard Griffin stood between them to prevent Neely from “striking her.”
Neely disputes that account of what happened.