U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department Secretary Alphonso Jackson's in town today -- which is swell, because we all remember what happened when he spoke in Dallas in April '06, right? At 2 p.m. he'll be at the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas on N. Lamar Street to announce the formation of something called the Texas Foreclosure Prevention Task Force, the purpose of which is "to reduce home foreclosures and the impact of foreclosure on Texas families and communities."
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But chances are, upon his return to his hometown today the former president and CEO of the Dallas Housing Authority may get hounded about other issues -- like, oh, last week's news about precisely how the beleaguered Housing Secretary allegedly conspired to retaliate against the Philadelphia Housing Authority after PHA director Carl R. Greene refused to give a $2-million piece of Philly property to legendary songwriter and producer Kenny Gamble, a friend of Jackson's. The Philadelphia Inquirer today runs an editorial and The Washington Post yesterday carried a lengthy piece documenting the retaliation accusations, after Jackson on Wednesday refused to answer questions from the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. In a statement released Thursday, Sen. Chris Dodd said Jackson's alleged actions and refusal to speak about them "raise troubling questions about whether the Department has abused taxpayer funds and acted improperly in federal contracting." --Robert Wilonsky