4

More Than a Year Later, Alphonso Jackson's Still Being Investigated

^
Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

It all began on May 5, 2006, when the Dallas Business Journal reported that during an April 28, 2006, speech in Dallas, U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson said he wouldn't award HUD contracts to folks who "have a problem" with his boss and good pal President Bush. The comment sparked an investigation of the former Dallas Housing Authority chief: Kenneth Donohue, Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, assembled a 340-page report in September '06 that showed Jackson "personally intervened with contractors whom he did not like ... these contractors had Democratic political affiliations," but also that there was "no direct proof that Jackson's staff obeyed" his orders.

Turns out, the investigation of Alphonso Jackson is far from over.

Yesterday, the National Journal reported that Jackson's former second-in-command, lobbyist Scott Keller, "played an important role" in the HUD-controlled Housing Authority of New Orleans' decision to award a $127-million redevelopment project to a team that included an Atlanta company called Columbia Residential. Reported the Journal:

That firm has significant financial ties to Jackson: It owes him between $250,000 and $500,000 "for past services," according to the HUD secretary's public financial disclosure reports.

Separately, according to people familiar with the investigation, federal agents are closely examining whether Keller aided Jackson in arranging lucrative housing work for two of Jackson's close friends. One of them got work at HANO, and the other received a contract to manage the Virgin Islands Housing Authority. Last month, a federal agent served a search warrant at Keller's home in Alexandria, Va., the sources said.

Today, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution follows up the Virgin Island Housing Authority connection:

Federal investigators are probing how Atlanta entrepreneur Michael R. Hollis landed a series of hefty government contracts to run the Virgin Islands Housing Authority without any known experience in public housing.

The inquiry into Hollis is part of a larger investigation into whether U.S. Housing Secretary Alphonso Jackson has steered contracts to friends in violation of federal law prohibiting political favoritism.

Once more, I direct your attention to this Dallas Observer story from 2000. --Robert Wilonsky

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.