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 MurraySenate backs equal pay for female soccer players Feds can learn lessons from states about using data to inform policy Lawmakers blast poultry, meat industries over worker injuries 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 ClintonHannity tells Trump: I'm voting for you in November McConnell: ‘Ticket-splitting’ will preserve GOP Senate majority Romney signals interest in independent candidate 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 ObamaMcConnell: ‘Ticket-splitting’ will preserve GOP Senate majority Morris: Trump's key to victory: Men The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE nor John McCainJohn McCainGOP senators split over Cruz's aid on campaign trail Why a power grid attack is a nightmare scenario Senate fight brews over Afghan visas MORE had issued a statement by the time this was posted.

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