Investigation Finds HUD Secretary Might Be Kind of Guilty

Faction Jackson: Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson got in trouble in May for telling a Dallas business meeting that loyalty to President Bush was a prerequisite for receiving HUD contracts. Pensito Review covered the first report of the speech here and Jackson’s half-assed mea culpa here.

‘People [expletive] dog-out the president but still want contracts and money from the administration.’
— Alphonso Jackson

A recent investigation into HUD’s procurement policies and political culture was not conclusive, but suggested that Jackson might be a little guilty. And, while it could not turn up a specific instance where a contract had not been awarded because of the recipient’s lack of support for Bush, it would appear that Jackson was at least not completely fabricating his “fabricated” Dallas anecdote. It must have been frustrating for investigators not to find definitive evidence:

Assistant Deputy Secretary Aronetta “Jo” Baylor recounted an incident in which she and Jackson ran into Brian Maillian of Whitestone Capital Group in the HUD lobby. Her account of that meeting partly mirrors the anecdote Jackson told the business group — that Maillian thanked the secretary for a contract he had struggled for years to win, and said he did not support the president.

But Baylor said Jackson said nothing to the man on the spot, instead complaining privately to her afterward “that people [expletive] dog-out the president but still want contracts and money from the administration.”

Maillian told investigators that he did not recall such a meeting, and Maillian’s contract with HUD has since been extended.

Investigators also heard from two senior staff members — Chief of Staff Camille Pierce and Deputy Secretary Roy Bernardi — that Jackson told political appointees at a staff meeting that it was important “to consider presidential supporters” in the award of “discretionary” contracts. Other officials said they had not heard Jackson make that remark.

Another official, General Counsel Keith Gottfried, said he had heard rumors that Jackson tries to help his friends win contracts, though he said he had never heard of contracts being rescinded or terminated as a result of the secretary’s actions.

The full report is secret, but a 340-page executive summary was leaked, and you can find a link to the PDF here.

Some aids on Capitol Hill were making noise about Democratic Senators calling for investigations, but those boys have been spanked one too many times this week. And with a two-month hiatus for the midterms, Jackson’s actions will likely be forgotten by the time Congress reconvenes in December.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *