There's no doubt about it: Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson is a machine politician -- it just seems that something always got stuck in the gears. And that might be the only thing that saves him from a criminal investigation.
A recent report from the HUD Inspector General found that Jackson repeatedly told his deputies that they should favor supporters of the President when awarding contracts. New revelations from the report
show that Jackson himself admitted to investigators that political affiliation was a factor: "Iâm not going to go out of my way to help somebody whoâs castigating the Presidentâ¦Now, if thatâs my bias, I have it."
But the IG seems to have found "no direct proof" that a contract was actually awarded or rescinded because of political affiliation.
"I think they saved his butt," said Melanie Sloan, a former federal prosecutor and Executive Director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, referring to Jackson's suboordinates. If it turns out they just listened to his windbag speeches about helping Bush supporters, but then went off and did their jobs, Jackson may be off the hook. "However, itâs totally unethical and the guy ought to be fired," she added.