Edward T. Pound’s National Journal article on Alphonso’s wife is nowavailable online and after readingWaPo’s article on Alphonso’s alleged retaliation in Philly I sort of worry for Pound, but hope he keeps up this reporting…
But Jackson’s focus on New Orleans may, in the end, prove to be his
undoing. Federal investigators and a grand jury in Washington are
exploring the secretary’s ties to contractors who have been handed
lucrative business at HANO under HUD. In at least one case, Jackson
helped a friend, William Hairston, obtain contracting work, according to an account that Hairston has given toNational Journal.
Jackson testified before a Senate panel last year and during an earlier
federal inquiry that he never intervened in awarding contracts.
Jackson’s problems may be growing. It turns out that his wife, Marcia,
a consultant in Washington, had financial ties to at least two
companies that did business at HANO. In one case, a St. Louis company
won a $2.4 million architecture-engineering contract in 2003 for a
housing development under HANO’s control; the second company was a
subcontractor on that job. In another instance, the St. Louis firm was
part of a team selected to redevelop a major public housing project for
the New Orleans agency. In each case, Jackson’s allies played important
roles in choosing the firm.
Public records show that Mrs. Jackson has worked as a consultant for the two companies, butNational Journal
could not determine what she did for them or what they paid her. She
and Jackson did not return a phone message or respond to written
questions.Jerry Brown, a HUD spokesman, said that Jackson would not comment because of the ongoing criminal investigation.
Meanwhile, the grand jury has begun calling witnesses, including a
senior HUD contracting official, according to a person familiar with
the matter. Additionally, Jackson has hired prominent St. Louis
criminal defense lawyerJames Martin
to represent him. Martin, a former federal prosecutor, did not respond
to phone messages and written questions. According to several people,
he has been interviewing witnesses in the case in an effort to find out
what they know about the investigation.
There is much more at thelink