The Atlanta Housing Authority has commissioned an audit of the agency’s wages and compensation packages after the Obama administration expressed outrage over the pay of its top executive.

A nationwide survey of 2010 salaries by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development revealed earlier this year that Atlanta housing chief Renee Elmer’s compensation package was the highest in the country that year, at $644,214. Now the federal agency is poised to set local housing agency pay at $155,500 annually.

“We need to make sure the salaries are in line with the services provided,” Daniel Halpern, who steers the agency’s board of commissioners, said at the Wednesday meeting. “There is a responsibility … to look into this, and at the end of the day, be good stewards.”

While only 3 percent of public housing executives nationwide bankrolled salaries topping the new ceiling, HUD’s recent review found a full fifteen other Atlanta staffers earned annual compensation packages exceeding $155,500.

But it was Glover’s compensation–a figure that more than quadrupled in the 18 years she helmed the agency–that compelled federal regulators to tamp down.

– James Richardson