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WHA CEO fired after DWI arrest

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Michael Krause is out as CEO of the Wilmington Housing Authority four days after Wilmington Police arrested him for DWI.

The WHA Board met in closed session for nearly two hours this morning to discuss what happened. When they came out, they voted to release Krause from his contract without cause. That contract paid Krause $142,000 base salary plus a $500 per month vehicle allowance.

"This has been a difficult decision, and we as an authority know our obligation to our staff, to the community, to our residents, and that is our number one concern," WHA Board Chair Jeff Hovis read from a prepared statement.

WHA Board members said they had created a media policy that only allowed Hovis to speak on their behalf. He refused several requests from reporters to answer questions.

Under the terms of his contract, Krause will get three months pay, which is $35,500.

The Board named Vernice Hamilton as interim CEO. Hamilton currently serves as WHA's Director of Human Resources.

Police arrested Krause Sunday afternoon after another driver called 911 about a SUV swerving all over Oleander Drive. The other driver followed the SUV to Krause's home on Windemere Road, where a dispatch log shows Krause blew a blood alcohol content of .35 and then .31, which is about four times the legal limit.

Krause, who took over the helm at WHA in 2008, pleaded guilty in January 2010 to a 2009 DWI, where police say he blew a .23 BAC. A judge sentenced Krause in that case to community service and a fine.

Krause also faces a charge of not having an operator license in Sunday's incident. He is due back in court Nov. 26.

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