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31 March 2008

amidst a national Katrina of home foreclosures, HUD Secretary Alphonso R. Jackson to resign

[poverty] "is a state of mind, not a condition."

-- Alphonso R. Jackson, HUD Secretary

The New York Times
Monday 31 March 2008

Report Says
HUD Secretary
Will Resign

WASHINGTON — Housing Secretary Alphonso R. Jackson is expected to resign Monday, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday night.

Mr. Jackson has scheduled a news conference for 9:45 a.m., 15 minutes before Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. is supposed to outline plans for dealing with the financial crisis set off by the risky mortgage lending.

If Mr. Jackson steps down, it would remove a key player from the administration team dealing with the problem.

Mr. Jackson, 62, has been under investigation by the Justice Department and the housing department’s inspector general in inquiries focusing on whether he gave lucrative housing contracts to friends. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has interviewed several of his employees.

Mr. Jackson is the first housing secretary with experience running public housing authorities, having led them in Washington, St. Louis and Dallas.

But his tenure has also been marked by controversy.

In 2004, less than two months after his confirmation as housing secretary, Mr. Jackson told a House panel that he believed poverty "is a state of mind, not a condition." Two years later, he said in a speech that he had canceled a contract for a company after its president told him that he did not like Mr. Bush. Mr. Jackson later said he had made the story up.

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