Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson, buffeted by
allegations of cronyism and favoritism, is expected to announce his
resignation Monday, sources close to the matter told the Wall Street
Mr. Jackson has scheduled a news conference for 9:45 a.m., 15 minutes before Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. is supposed to outline plans for dealing with the financial crisis set off by the risky mortgage lending.
If Mr. Jackson steps down, it would remove a key player from the administration team dealing with the problem.
UPDATE: For some background here are a few of the previous First Draft posts on Jackson’s alleged cronyism and corruption:
HUD’s Jackson Under Investigation–Oct 4 2007
Investigating Alphonso…Another Heckuva Katrina Contract Story–December 17 2007
Alphonso Jackson update–Feb 6 2008
Real people get hurt when…–Feb 8 2008
UPDATE: A few thoughts. Jackson should have been gone last year for the improprieties with the NOLA/HANO/Katrina contracts. Then came the Philly problem. But he hung on and I suspect he may have been able to continue doing so if not for the housing crisis.GovExec.com reported last Friday…
Still, some senior administration officials worry that Jackson’s
troubles could tarnish the final nine months of Bush’s presidency,
especially if disclosures continue about suspected ethical missteps.
“That is an interesting dilemma he is getting into with the Hill,” says
one official, who asked to remain anonymous. “He is the secretary of
the department, they control his budget, and he refuses to answer their
questions. Obviously that’s a concern.”
Although the White House continues to support Jackson publicly, some
think that the president may soon have to let his old friend go.“You
have a housing crisis, families in peril, and a distracted HUD
secretary,” says a person who knows Bush and Jackson well. “The
administration needs someone tending the boat 100 percent.” (my emphasis)
That last quote would have been true for post Katrina NOLA in any one of the past almost 3 years. But I guess not all boats are equal…