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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

HUD Secretary Leaving Under A Cloud?



AAPP: As reported in major news outlets, including newspapers and blogs like
Black Politics on the Web, Citizen Jane Politics, Jack and Jill Politics and by Chicago Tribune, HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson resigned Monday amid a criminal investigation into alleged favoritism in awarding HUD contracts that critics say was blunting the agency's effectiveness in dealing with the subprime mortgage crisis. "There comes a time when one must attend more diligently to personal and family matters," Jackson said in a statement. "Now is such a time for me." Declaring he had "improved housing opportunities for all Americans" while HUD secretary, Jackson said "he took great pride" in increased homeownership by minorities. President Bush said in a statement that Jackson was "a strong leader and a good man" and that he was accepting his resignation "with regret."

The investigation into Jackson's stewardship began after he said in a speech in 2006 that he had revoked a contract because the vendor had told him he didn't like Bush. During an inquiry by the inspector general, Jackson told investigators that he had made up the anecdote. Since then, he has been fending off allegations of cronyism involving HUD contractors. The FBI is looking into ties between Jackson and a friend who was paid $392,000 by HUD for work as a construction manager in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. In addition, a lawsuit accused Jackson of trying to punish the Philadelphia Housing Authority for not transferring land to a Jackson friend, developer and music producer Kenny Gamble. A federal judge ruled Monday that HUD had acted legally in the Philadelphia matter. More HERE

AAPP: There will be no love lost between Jackson and Bloggers, as bloggers seem to be as unhappy as the nation with HUD regarding its response with
Katrina and the defaulting of millions of homeowners. The Moderate Voice is covering the belegured Secretary's resignation
as is Booker Rising. Some bloggers believe he was the Architect of the Katrina housing disaster while others like KC blue Blog just seehim as another Bush Crony, as does the Texas Blue and thousands of other bloggers.

Jake Wagman at St. Louis Today.com notes the exiting HUD chief got his start at City Hall. Wagman said, Alphonso Jackson, the federal housing chief who announced today he’s quitting, has deep roots in St. Louis politics, so much so that he briefly eyed the mayor’s office. Jackson, 62, leaves the Department of Housing and Urban Development office amid mounting pressure from Congressional Democrats and an evolving ethics probe. According to the Associated Press, the FBI has been examining ties between Jackson and a friend who was paid over $392,000 by HUD for Hurricane Katrina recovery work.

Also being questioned is a lawsuit charing that Jackson sought to punish the Philadelphia housing authority for turning down a contract to another friend, a music producer.

In St. Louis, Jackson was deputy director of the Housing Authority and served as Public Safety Director under Mayor Jim Conway. In 1984, Jackson launched a campaign for mayor - running as a Democrat. More HERE

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