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"They wasn't paying me enough to play in blood. Just that simple," Gaines says.
McCray's loyal, full-time maintenance man — the tenants know him as "Mike" — cleaned the room instead. "He went up there as if it was nothing, as if he'd done it before," Gaines says with a little laugh. "If you ain't really had too much of nothin', you know, a lot of people will do a lot of things."
Jones says she brought these and other issues to O'Dowd, at Knudson. "She went right back and told her [McCray] what I said, so the next thing I knew, my position was being deleted," Jones says. "Only — how did she say it? That they weren't going to renew my grant."
Jones also voiced her concerns to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, which contacted HUD. The "comments" section of HUD's record of the complaint reads, "Senior Services sent a letter talking about some concerns of the residents. Mgt answered the accusations and invited Ms. [redacted] to come and speak with her if she wishes." The matter was filed "closed" the same month.
Jones now works for a local nonprofit as an employment specialist. She knows McCray will likely view her complaints as sour grapes from a former employee. "She might say, 'Oh, she's doing this because she's mad at me.' No, I'm doing it because she's still doing these things to these people — treating them like dogs."
McCray agreed to an interview with The Pitch but canceled it on the day it was scheduled. McCray's boss, O'Dowd, sent an e-mail the following day, which reads: "Per your communications with Ms. McCray, she has been advised by Kansas City Police/Detectives not to discuss some specific issues pertaining to St. Regis Apartments do [sic] to ongoing investigations, and because of this, I have also advised Ms. McCray not to meet with you. I'm sure you understand our position."
During one brief phone conversation, McCray seemed to remember her former tenant, Christopher Scott. "A guy dies who doesn't live here, hasn't lived here for months," she said. "What does that have to do with me?"