HUD Official Alphonso Jackson Resigns Amidst Investigation
Talking Points Memo
By Paul Kiel
November 21, 2007

Federal investigators are bearing down on Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Alphonso Jackson for setting up his buddies with contracts and then telling Congress that he didn't "touch contracts."

One contract in particular that prosecutors are scrutinizing involves Jackson's friend, Atlanta lawyer Michael Hollis, who was paid approximately $1 million for managing the Virgin Islands Housing Authority, the National Journal reported last week, adding: "Before landing at the authority, some sources said, Hollis had no experience in running a public housing agency." When asked about the contract, Hollis told National Journal that "he had negotiated his contract with Orlando Cabrera, a senior HUD official, and 'people on his procurement staff.'" A grand jury has issued a subpoena for documents relating to Hollis' contract.

Well, perhaps it's a coincidence, but Cabrera, the Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing, announced that he would resign about a week before that National Journal piece came out. The resignation would be effective January 4th.

Why is he resigning? Cabrera told The Miami Herald, "I've had a wonderful experience these last few years, and I just want to take a few months to spend time with my wife and kids.... I know it sounds like the standard Potomac line, but it's not." He has "no firm career plans," the paper reports. The paper didn't ask him about the investigation, but you gotta wonder.

Ed. Note: Thanks to TPM Reader BK for the tip

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