Monday, March 31, 2008

Philly Style

Bye Alphonso.

WASHINGTON -- Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson is expected to announce his resignation Monday, according to people familiar with the matter, a decision that will deal a blow to the Bush administration's efforts to tackle the housing crisis.


Mr. Jackson's most-recent problems stem from a Philadelphia redevelopment deal. The city's housing authority has filed a lawsuit charging that Mr. Jackson tried to punish the agency for blocking a deal involving a friend of his. The allegations came up during congressional hearings this month. Mr. Jackson declined to answer questions, saying the judge in the lawsuit had instructed the department not to talk.

HUD has argued it wants to change the housing authority's special funding status because it lacks enough housing for the disabled.

In 2006, HUD's inspector general investigated remarks made by Mr. Jackson that some interpreted to mean that contracts were awarded in some cases based on political affiliation. The report didn't find any wrongdoing at the agency.

"Why should I reward someone who doesn't like the president, so they can use funds to try to campaign against the president?" Mr. Jackson was quoted as saying in the Dallas Business Journal. "Logic says they don't get the contract. That's the way I believe."