Bush's housing secretary resigns under cloud from federal contracts

Other News Materials 1 April 2008 02:59 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa ) - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson resigned Monday under the cloud of an ongoing investigation by federal agents into his agency's contracting practises.

"There comes a time when one must attend more diligently to personal and family matters. Now is such a time for me," he said, reading a prepared statement at a press conference.

Jackson, who took office in 2004, did not take questions.

He has faced allegations of improperly steering contracts issued by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development away from political opponents and toward friends and allies. Members of the opposition Democratic Party, which controls Congress, have been calling for Jackson's ouster.

"I have known Alphonso Jackson for many years, and I have known him to be a strong leader and a good man. I have accepted his resignation with regret," US President George W Bush said in a statement.

"While leading the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Alphonso made significant progress in transforming public housing, revitalizing and modernizing the Federal Housing Administration, increasing affordable housing, rebuilding the Gulf Coast, decreasing homelessness and increasing minority home ownership."

Jackson will officially step down on April 18.