Dodd, Murray Call For HUD Chief To Resign

Two senators have asked President Bush to seek the resignation of Alphonso Jackson, head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and Patty Murray (D-Was.), who chairs the appropriations subcommittee that oversees HUD, sent a letter to Bush today.

Jackson is embroiled in allegations of cronyism and favoritism. One report triggered an investigation by the inspector general, which turned up some questionable practices in the department, according to news reports.

Jackson also peeved Democrats by refusing to answer questions about the alleged improprieties at recent oversight hearings, including questions about a lawsuit filed by the Philadelphia housing authority charging that Jackson sought revenge over deal the city squashed.

“The nation is in the midst of a housing crisis and it is imperative that the Department of Housing and Urban Development be headed by a leader who can work tirelessly to find solutions to the problems plaguing the housing and mortgage markets,” the pair of lawmakers wrote.

“Unfortunately, the allegations surrounding Secretary Jackson, as well as his rejection of appropriate Congressional oversight of his department, undermine his ability to effectively address the current housing crisis.”