HUD Secretary Jackson Resigns

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson announced his resignation Monday, bowing to increasing pressure to step aside.

"There are times when one must attend more diligently to personal and family matters," Jackson said in his resignation letter. "Now is such a time for me"

Earlier this month, two Democratic senators, Patty Murray of Washington and Christopher Dodd of Connecticut, sent a letter to President Bush urging him to call for Mr. Jackson's resignation, arguing that accusations of wrongdoing had made him unable to perform his duties at the proper level.

Jackson has been involved in a controversy over a Philadelphia redevelopment project, with accusations aired in a lawsuit that Jackson tried to retaliate against a city agency after it refused to award a contract to one of his friends. Jackson and other HUD officials have denied any wrongdoing.

Jackson said in the letter he will stay on until April 18, to "fully assist in the orderly transition of the leadership at HUD."

Jackson's departure comes at a critical time for the Bush administration and Congress as political leaders in Washington scramble to deal with the fallout from the subprime mortgage crisis. HUD oversees the Federal Housing Administration, a critical player in any federal response to the problems in the nation's housing market.
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