Housing Secretary Resigns Amid Criticism

Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Alphonso Jackson announced today that he will step down from HUD April 18. Senate Democrats had called for his resignation last week amid allegations of corruption.

The Hill's Jessica Holzer reported that Banking Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and Appropriations Housing Subcommittee Chairwoman Sen. Patty MurrayPatty MurrayLawmakers pledge push for cures bill in lame-duck Senate Dems: Add Flint aid to spending deal Dems call for better birth control access for female troops MORE (D-Wash.) called for Jackson's resignation, saying he failed to clear suspicions of impropriety when appearing before their panels.

Jackson had come under fire recently for alleged corruption, as The Washington Post reported in February that Jackson demanded the Philadelphia Housing Authority transfer a $2 million public property at a discount to a friend of his, and then vowed to strip the authority of some federal funding after it refused.

An Inspector General's report also found in 2006 that Jackson urged housing officials to take contractors' politics into account when awarding grants and contracts. According to The Dallas Morning News, the investigation began after Jackson boasted in a speech in Dallas that he had canceled a deal because a contractor disparaged President Bush. The investigation found no direct evidence that political favoritism motivated any of HUD's dealings.

"During my time here, I have sought to make America a better place to live, work and raise a family," Jackson said in a statement. "We have helped families keep their homes. We have transformed public housing. We have reduced chronic homelessness. And, we have preserved affordable housing and increased minority homeownership."

Reacting publicly to Jackson's resignation, President Bush complimented Jackson on his time at HUD. "While leading the Department of Housing and Urban Development," Bush said, "Alphonso made significant progress in transforming public housing, revitalizing and modernizing the Federal Housing Administration, increasing affordable housing, rebuilding the Gulf Coast, decreasing homelessness, and increasing minority homeownership."

Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonTrump on former Miss Universe: 'I helped somebody and this is what you get for helping somebody' Carson: Trump faces a debate 'learning curve' Johnson: Clinton 'is going to press the button' MORE said that Jackson's resignation "ends a tenure at HUD marked by an indifference to Congressional oversight powers, cronyism, and corrupt contracting practices that have no place in our government." Neither Barack ObamaBarack ObamaFirst lady slams Trump's 'birther' comments Obama's contradictory stance toward black asylum seekers Webb: After the debate MORE nor John McCainJohn McCainOvernight Defense: Congress overrides Obama 9/11 veto | Pentagon breathes easy after funding deal | More troops heading to Iraq McCain comments won't derail Bergdahl case Senators already eyeing changes to 9/11 bill after veto override MORE had issued a statement by the time this was posted.