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Secretary of HUD corrupt

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  • les evenchick
    (APN) HUD Secretary Owns Stake in AHA HOPE VI Developer http://www.atlantaprogressivenews.com/news/0238.html HUD Secretary Owns Stake in AHA Leading HOPE VI
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 8, 2007
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      (APN) HUD Secretary Owns Stake in AHA HOPE VI
      Developer

      http://www.atlantaprogressivenews.com/news/0238.html

      HUD Secretary Owns Stake in AHA Leading HOPE VI
      Developer
      By Matthew Cardinale, News Editor, The Atlanta
      Progressive News (October 07, 2007)

      (APN) ATLANTA – In an apparent conflict of interest,
      Secretary of the US Department of Housing and Urban
      Development (HUD), Alphonso Jackson, owns a stake in
      Atlanta-based company Columbia Residential, which
      landed major HOPE VI redevelopment grants with the
      Atlanta Housing Authority (AHA), according to an
      article, "Questionable Contracts," published in the
      National Journal magazine on October 04, 2007.
      National Journal is a Washington, DC, based magazine
      for policy professionals.

      "The Secretary still has financial ties to one housing
      developer. According to Jackson's financial disclosure
      reports, an Atlanta-based development company,
      Columbia Residential, owes him $250,000 to $500,000.
      Before joining HUD, his spokesman said, Jackson was a
      ‘partner/consultant’ for the developer,” the National
      Journal reported.

      Columbia Residential has been intimately involved in
      redeveloping two of AHA’s HOPE VI projects, McDaniel
      Glen and Perry Homes, according to documents obtained
      by Atlanta Progressive News.

      The former Petty Homes complex is now the West
      Highlands, with current or planned developments called
      Columbia Estates, Colubmia Heritage, Columbia Park
      Citi, Columbia Crest, and Columbia Grove.

      AHA received $25.1 million from HUD to fund the West
      Highlands project.

      HUD Secretary Jackson stood with Noel F. Khalil,
      President of Columbia Residential, when he praised the
      West Highlands in a 2004 article in The Story
      newspaper, and that day announced an additional $20
      million in federal funding to AHA for McDaniel Glen,
      also a redevelopment site for Columbia Residential.

      Columbia Residential, LLC, is a registered Georgia
      LLC, with several affiliated Georgia entities,
      organized on March 24, 2000, and the registered agent
      is Khalil, according to the corporations database of
      the Secretary of State of Georgia.

      "According to his disclosure reports, Jackson is to
      receive periodic payments ‘for past services’ under a
      separation agreement with the company. He has received
      only one such payment in the past six years -- $35,000
      in 2003. HUD officials said that Jackson avoids any
      dealings with Columbia Residential. They released a
      memo he wrote in August 2001 in which he recused
      himself from HUD matters having 'a direct and
      predictable effect on the ability or willingness' of
      the company 'to satisfy its obligation to compensate
      me for prior service rendered.'" the National Journal
      wrote.

      "Columbia Residential recently was part of a team that
      won a $127 million competitive contract from HANO
      [Housing Authority of New Orleans] to redevelop the
      St. Bernard public housing project, which has been
      shuttered since Katrina. In his written responses, HUD
      spokesman Brown said that Jackson was not part of the
      selection team and played no 'role in the selection of
      any team members.' The four-member selection panel
      included Scott Keller, who was until recently
      Jackson's deputy chief of staff and who is often
      described within HUD as Jackson's 'right-hand man.'
      But in an interview, Keller said that because of the
      press of other HUD business he did not participate in,
      or influence, the selection of the Columbia
      Residential team. Keller left HUD in August to become
      a private consultant," the National Journal wrote.

      The revelations about Jackson’s stake in Columbia
      Residential were somewhat buried within the lengthy
      National Journal article, which focuses on an
      investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigations
      and the HUD Inspector General’s Office, of Jackson,
      for apparently steering a contract with HANO to a golf
      buddy of his, William Hairston.

      An Associated Press (AP) report was widely circulated
      about the issue of Mr. Hairston after the National
      Journal article was published, but did not mention the
      Secretary’s stake in Columbia Residential.

      The AP also recalled another recent scandal involving
      Jackson and HUD contracts.

      "Last year, Jackson became a focus of controversy
      after telling a Dallas business group that he had
      rejected a HUD contract because the prospective
      contractor criticized Bush. Jackson apologized, said
      he made up the story, and declared that [HUD]
      contracts were never awarded or rejected because of
      political favoritism," the AP reports.

      About the author:

      Matthew Cardinale is the News Editor for The Atlanta
      Progressive News and may be reached at
      matthew@...

      Revised syndication policy:

      Our syndicaton policy was updated June 2007. For more
      information on how to syndicate Atlanta Progressive
      News content, please visit:
      http://www.atlantaprogressivenews.com/extras/syndicate.html





      Les Evenchick
      New Orleans
      piratefish@...
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