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March 31, 2008
HUD Secretary Jackson Resigns
Amid several ethics investigations, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Afonso Jackson has resigned effective April 18:
Earlier this month, Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Connecticut, and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington, demanded Jackson's resignation, saying the ethics allegations have distracted from the secretary's ability to handle the nation's housing crisis. The secretary has recently been accused in a lawsuit of retaliating against housing officials in Philadelphia for blocking a land deal with one of Jackson's friends. At the very least there was an appearance of impropriety by letting the contract to his South Carolina friend especially since Jackson has been less than convincing in his denial that he knew nothing about the contract.
The FBI has been investigating allegations that Jackson steered a federal contract to a golfing buddy based in South Carolina. Jackson has denied wrongdoing and White House officials have said for months that the president still has confidence in Jackson. No charges have been filed against him.
Jackson has been a key player in the Bush administration's efforts to handle the national housing and mortgage crisis. Jackson, who ran Dallas' housing authority for seven years and then led a Texas power company, was confirmed by the Senate for the top HUD post exactly four years ago. He also was head of the Federal Housing Administration.
No word on who might replace him.