Donald Trump has made plenty of dubious personnel decisions since winning the presidential election, but the New York Daily News reports on an apparent hiring that will be tough to defend.
…Now President Trump has appointed longtime loyalist Lynne Patton – who has zero housing experience and claims a law degree the school says she never earned – to run the office that oversees federal housing programs in New York.
Patton was appointed Wednesday to head up the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Region II, which includes New York and New Jersey, where she’ll oversee distribution of billions of taxpayer dollars…. As head of the biggest HUD regional office in the U.S., Patton will oversee distribution of billions in cash to public housing authorities – including NYCHA – as well as tens of thousands of rental vouchers and block grants that fund housing inspections and senior citizen programs.
That certainly sounds like a job in which it would be helpful to have some background in housing policy.
The piece notes that Patton became the Trump family’s “event planner” several years ago, before helping run the Eric Trump Foundation, a charitable entity that’s recently generated some controversy.
This is, I believe, an appointed federal position – which means Patton would not be subject to the Senate confirmation process.
It’s also the latest evidence that the president doesn’t seem to take this area of federal policymaking especially seriously. In December, Trump nominated Ben Carson, a retired surgeon, to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development, despite having literally no background in housing policy and Carson’s own stated disinterest in running a cabinet agency.