Charges Against Cape Cod Housing Agency Head Dismissed

CCB MEDIA PHOTO Rick Presbrey, at right, stands with his attorney Matthew Kelly, talking to well-wishers after the misdemeanor charge against him was dismissed.

Rick Presbrey, at right, stands with his attorney Matthew Kelly, talking to well-wishers after the misdemeanor charge against him was dismissed.

BARNSTABLE – Frederic Presbrey, founder of the Housing Assistance Corporation in Hyannis, had his case dismissed in Barnstable District Court today.

Presbrey was accused of threatening to kill a client of his agency, a misdemeanor charge.

Presbrey attended the court hearing with about two dozen current and former HAC employees and clients.

The judge agreed to dismiss the case prior to arraignment in answer to a motion filed by Presbrey’s attorney and agreed to by the district attorney’s office.

Neither Presbrey nor his lawyer would comment after the hearing.

An employee at HAC contacted Barnstable police after Presbrey made what the employee believed to be threatening statements against a client family that had previously accused Presbrey’s wife of stealing prescription pills.

Melanie Powers has been accused of stealing prescription opiate pills from the home of the family that was renting a house from her.

In the case of Powers, the family installed a video camera and released photos of Powers searching for and finding prescription pills in their kitchen. The drugs stolen over several months were oxycodone, morphine, Ketamine, Dilaudid and diszepam.

In the case involving Presbrey, according to the police report, Presbrey was seeking to get affordable housing for the family, who have two disabled children. The children have a rare genetic disease that has required multiple surgeries. The father of the family worked as a landscaper at Presbrey’s home.

Presbrey had arranged for a home to be constructed on HAC-owned property in Sandwich using both agency funds and a grant Presbrey had arranged for the project from the Lorusso Charitable Foundation. But in recent months, the family had learned from Presbrey that the Sandwich project could not go forward.

Presbrey had asked them to find another home to buy using the grant funds. With the assistance of HAC, the family found a home on Captain Baker Road in Marstons Mills. The house was purchased using the Lorusso funds and HAC funds. It was deeded to HAC with the family having a lease and an option to purchase the house.

But the terms of the lease, delivered to the family on May 21, were not acceptable to them, according to the police report. The family decided not to sign the lease.

The next day, on May 22, a HAC employee said Presbrey was red-faced and agitated about the situation with the family, the police report said. That is when he allegedly said, “I’m going to go kill them and then turn myself in to the police.”

Presbrey is currently on leave from the agency. A spokesperson for HAC said the agency did not immediately have a comment on the dismissal of the charges.

Michael Sweeney, vice president administration and finance, and Nancy Davidson, vice president of program operations, are running the agency while Presbrey is on leave.

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