Hud IG: City run by new HUD nominee misused HUD money while new HUD nominee was mayor

posted at 2:41 pm on May 20, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

In a changing world, it’s good to know that some things don’t change … like the ability of this White House to vet it Cabinet-level appointments. Barack Obama named Julian Castro as the new Secretary of Housing and Urban Development last week, but no one checked with the Inspector General at HUD first. Late yesterday, Politico also named Castro as a subject of criticism in a 2012 IG report that alleged San Antonio misused HUD funds while Castro was mayor:

San Antonio failed to properly spend funds approved by Congress to combat the housing crisis while President Barack Obama’s expected nominee to run the Housing and Urban Development Department was mayor of the city, according to a 2012 report from the agency’s inspector general. …

San Antonio was awarded $8.6 million from HUD in 2008 as part of the national Neighborhood Stabilization Program. The city used the money to buy, refurbish and resell homes left vacant after eviction and to also renovate large apartment complexes in the city that were rented out to lower-income tenants.

The HUD IG audited how the money was being spent from 2009 to 2011 and found that city officials had awarded $2.5 million in renovation contracts without a competitive bidding process. Castro, 39, became mayor in May 2009, a job he continues to hold.

The report also found that the city misused roughly $1.1 million when acquiring and fixing properties because some of the properties were not put toward housing lower-income families as required by HUD.

This suddenly makes Byron York’s analysis even more critical. The defense for Castro will no doubt revolve around the fact that the mayor in San Antonio is largely ceremonial. It holds no executive power at all; the city is actually run by the city council and a city manager that runs all of the executive functions in San Antonio, as city manager Sheryl Sculley’s website explains.

But that lack of executive power that will serve as a defense against the conclusions of this IG report also raises questions about what qualifications Castro has in running a vast federal bureaucracy with a current annual budget of $42 billion. Other than being a mayor with no responsibilities at all except community outreach and schmoozing business leaders, Castro’s money comes from speechmaking and a book advance, and a referral fee from a personal-injury lawsuit which York explains at length.

Even that defense will still snag Castro on the IG report, though. One of his bragging points is that he “brought a sense of urgency” to urban revitalization — which one would presume had some connection to HUD efforts in San Antonio. Did Castro miss the abuse and waste of HUD money in San Antonio? Did he ever go on record challenging Sculley’s administration of those funds, or did he play along with it?

Those questions should be asked in Castro’s confirmation hearing, as well as a more basic one: Is a man who gives speeches and schmoozes investors really the most qualified person Obama could find to run a $42 billion agency?


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Well, it’s not like he actually did anything as “mayor” anyway, apparently.

vlad martel on May 20, 2014 at 2:44 PM

He’s perfect for Obama

cmsinaz on May 20, 2014 at 2:45 PM

Julian Castro is nothing but an incompetent beneficiary of affirmative action.

bluegill on May 20, 2014 at 2:46 PM

Resume enhancement.

nobar on May 20, 2014 at 2:46 PM

Those questions should be asked in Castro’s confirmation hearing, as well as a more basic one: Is a man who gives speeches and schmoozes investors really the most qualified person Obama could find to run a $42 billion agency?

What a quaint notion, actually considering one’s qualifications for higher office. I’m afraid that went out of style oh around ’08 or so…

changer1701 on May 20, 2014 at 2:46 PM

Nominating someone who has never really ran ANYTHING? The heck you say.

dforston on May 20, 2014 at 2:47 PM

The important thing is that he means well, and occasionally slows his limo down long enough to throw some crumbs to the little people, just like other caring Democrat leaders.

JeremiahJohnson on May 20, 2014 at 2:49 PM

Is a man who gives speeches and schmoozes investors really the most qualified person Obama could find to run a $42 billion agency?

Why not? If Obama had a brother, it would be Castro. They both do the same thing.\!

Vince on May 20, 2014 at 2:50 PM

Did he have good intentions?

butch on May 20, 2014 at 2:51 PM

Kerry wants us to trust government.

paul1149 on May 20, 2014 at 2:51 PM

Hey, leave obama’s new boy-toy alone!

Pork-Chop on May 20, 2014 at 2:56 PM

Meh. This matters little. The democrats are playing long ball. This will be long forgotten by the time Castro runs with Hillary on the first woman/hispanic presidential ticket. He’ll have 8 years of OTJ training to learn how to be a better golfer and obfuscator before becoming the first hispanic president for 8 more years. After Castro, we will have to get the first gay president out of our system. Maybe, just maybe, in 24 years, we can finally return to sanity and elect someone who is actually qualified for the job without regard to their being the first something or other.

stvnscott on May 20, 2014 at 2:58 PM

Is a man who gives speeches and schmoozes investors really the most qualified person Obama could find to run a $42 billion agency?

You jest, surely.
Obama looked at Castro, loved the name, saw a guy just like him. He had Obama at, “Hello.”

Curmudgeon on May 20, 2014 at 2:58 PM

Maybe, just maybe, in 24 years, we can finally return to sanity and elect someone who is actually qualified for the job without regard to their being the first something or other.

IN 24 years it won’t matter. There will be nothing left to be president of.

Curmudgeon on May 20, 2014 at 2:59 PM

Boy, is Obama gonna be mad when he hears about this in the news on Friday!!!

DublOh7 on May 20, 2014 at 3:00 PM

Critics miss the point, he is the correct ethnicity…

mjbrooks3 on May 20, 2014 at 3:01 PM

Other than being a mayor with no responsibilities at all except community outreach and schmoozing business leaders, Castro’s money comes from speechmaking and a book advance, and a referral fee from a personal-injury lawsuit which York explains at length.

Hmmmmm……..OBAMA LITE!

He should be a shoe-in!

GarandFan on May 20, 2014 at 3:02 PM

As someone who worked in the public housing program from over 11 years, HUD is in of itself a damn fraud and a total waste of money…

ladyingray on May 20, 2014 at 3:02 PM

You mean like Mayor Johnson {barock’s BFF} did out in California that got that IG {Gerald Walprin} fired back in 2009? Nothing going on here just move along.

Business as usual, the Chicago way!

De Oppresso Liber on May 20, 2014 at 3:03 PM

the city misused roughly $1.1 million when acquiring and fixing properties because some of the properties were not put toward housing lower-income families as required by HUD.

Huh. Right out of a script from The Sopranos.

tru2tx on May 20, 2014 at 3:03 PM

IN 24 years it won’t matter. There will be nothing left to be president of.

Curmudgeon on May 20, 2014 at 2:59 PM

I predict our president in 24 years will be named Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho

Ditkaca on May 20, 2014 at 3:03 PM

sounds like he is a perfect Hispanic OBAMA…..never worked a real job in his life, had everything handed to him and is corrupt as hell….yup, he will be president!

SDarchitect on May 20, 2014 at 3:04 PM

None of this matters.

What’s important is

Can he play golf???

txdoc on May 20, 2014 at 3:04 PM

Can he play golf caddy???

txdoc on May 20, 2014 at 3:04 PM

He’s just there to carry obozo’s bag and wash his balls.

Flange on May 20, 2014 at 3:10 PM

“Hud IG: City run by new HUD nominee misused HUD money while new HUD nominee was mayor”
…which FULLY EXPLAINS why the OBOZO regime wants him in charge of HUB – they all want in on that money, too!

MicahStone on May 20, 2014 at 3:10 PM

…a $42 billion agency?

Put me in charge, and I will eliminate the dozens if not hundreds of worthless agencies like this…

That’s the way you balance a budget…

PatriotRider on May 20, 2014 at 3:13 PM

HUD is a cesspool and so is every local agency that gets funds from it. Crooks and scumbags cannot resist the easy money. Most mayors don’t pay nearly enough attention to where all that HUD money goes, and many have gotten in trouble as a result. Pretty much any mayor that was picked to run HUD would have something bad in an IG report.

And it’s not like Republicans have ever cared enough about HUD to even bother worrying about who runs it.

In other words, this is a nothingburger and Castro is a shoo-in. But it’s still a nice piece of dung to fling at the liberals.

All we can do is hope the HUD IG keeps doing his/her job and we find out about the next scandal before Castro gets put on the ticket with Hillary. But given the track record of this Administration with IGs, I am not optimistic.

rockmom on May 20, 2014 at 3:13 PM

Henry Cisneros 2.0

ToddPA on May 20, 2014 at 3:16 PM

Drove by a dead possum today which would make a better Prez than the current Kornhole.

vnvet on May 20, 2014 at 3:17 PM

Welcome to the kingdom
land of bought and sold
World of real life fantasy
Where truths are seldom told…

Just a Game-Triumph

Wood Dragon on May 20, 2014 at 3:19 PM

Why not? It’s no different than nominating a tax cheat to head the Treasury.

anuts on May 20, 2014 at 3:20 PM

Alberto Gonzalez him.

Marcus on May 20, 2014 at 3:20 PM

So he is a mexican Valerie jarret from TX .
Big deal !

burrata on May 20, 2014 at 3:25 PM

“Other than being a Senator mayor with no responsibilities at all except community outreach and schmoozing business leaders, Obama’s Castro’s money comes from speechmaking and a book advance, and a referral fee…”

Deja Poo…

Recon5 on May 20, 2014 at 3:33 PM

His mother is a big La Raza freak.Here is what she said about the Alamo.

“They used to take us there when we were schoolchildren,” Rosie Castro told The New York Times Magazine. “They told us how glorious that battle was. When I grew up I learned that the ‘heroes’ of the Alamo were a bunch of drunks and crooks and slaveholding imperialists who conquered land that didn’t belong to them. But as a little girl I got the message — we were losers. I can truly say that I hate that place and everything it stands for.”

docflash on May 20, 2014 at 3:40 PM

So he is a mexican Valerie jarret from TX .
Big deal !

burrata on May 20, 2014 at 3:25 PM

Looks more like a Latino Tommy Vietor.

slickwillie2001 on May 20, 2014 at 3:40 PM

I’m sure there is nothing to this. Besides if there is, it was probably his twin brother.

De Oppresso Liber on May 20, 2014 at 3:43 PM

Obummer, “Hey they vetted me like that too, what’s the big deal? Look, I’ll read the papers to see if he does anything wrong, ok?”

jake49 on May 20, 2014 at 3:45 PM

He’s just there to carry obozo’s bag and wash his balls.

Flange on May 20, 2014 at 3:10 PM

Maybe kiss his balls for good luck?

txdoc on May 20, 2014 at 3:53 PM

In Obama’s world, Castro is Über qualified.

Carnac on May 20, 2014 at 3:57 PM

Resume enhancement.

nobar on May 20, 2014 at 2:46 PM

…I believe…it is a ‘requirement’ now!

KOOLAID2 on May 20, 2014 at 4:03 PM

I’m sure there is nothing to this. Besides if there is, it was probably his twin brother.

De Oppresso Liber on May 20, 2014 at 3:43 PM

No sh#%, the two could easily swap out and blame each other.

Red Creek on May 20, 2014 at 4:12 PM

Maybe kiss his balls for good luck?

txdoc on May 20, 2014 at 3:53 PM

They got to get washed somehow.

Flange on May 20, 2014 at 4:16 PM

He certainly has a storied name…Castro

Next to Lenin or Stalin, Obama has to be impressed.

txdoc on May 20, 2014 at 4:19 PM

Confirmation hearings:
What qualifies Castro to be HUD secretary?
-He was Mayor of the 7th largest city in America!
So he’s responsible for the misuse of HUD money, then?
-Well, no. The Mayors job is really nothing. Just ceremonial.
So what qualifies Mr Castro to be HUD secretary?
-He was Mayor of the 7th largest city in America!
Oh, great! Approved!

tdarrington on May 20, 2014 at 4:30 PM

Typical of the Øbama administration to nominate crooks or shady characters to serve in his administration. From TurboTax Timmy Geithner to this character, he has always looked at political gain first, competency second and lied about it afterwards to add to the circus.

ExpressoBold on May 20, 2014 at 4:31 PM

He will have to learn how to approve big checks and contracts to Dem donors and hangers-on. O/w, his experience is “close enough for government work.”

PattyJ on May 20, 2014 at 4:32 PM

In a changing world, it’s good to know that some things don’t change … like the ability of this White House to vet it Cabinet-level appointments.

Now Ed…vetting Castro is old skool and Jeantel sez….Obama is new skool

workingclass artist on May 20, 2014 at 4:58 PM

He’s just there to carry obozo’s bag and wash his balls.

Flange on May 20, 2014 at 3:10 PM

Maybe kiss his balls for good luck?

txdoc on May 20, 2014 at 3:53 PM

I thought Biden did that.

*blech*

workingclass artist on May 20, 2014 at 5:00 PM

Is a man who gives speeches and schmoozes investors really the most qualified person Obama could find to run a $42 billion agency?

Yes…he fits the criteria.

right2bright on May 20, 2014 at 5:08 PM

Julian Castro and Barack Obama both have beards for wives.

Ruckus_Tom on May 20, 2014 at 5:20 PM

To oppose this guy you have to have Republicans who are prepared to say more nasty things about a Hispanic man in 2014 than they were prepared to say about a black man in 2008 or 2012.

JEM on May 20, 2014 at 5:21 PM

I’m having flashbacks to another Dem appointee to HUD from San Antonio that ended up in Federal Prison….. Henry Cisneros ring a bell with anyone.

And Castro’s mom pretty much misses the point of the Alamo – The ruthless taking of the Alamo by Santa Ana was a triumph and should have ground the Texans under the heal of the greatest standing army of it’s day. The rebellion should have ended there. But Texans have always taken their defeats into their hearts and turned their energy to winning.

Which still doesn’t explain the Cowboys…. but someday.

2nd Ammendment Mother on May 20, 2014 at 11:21 PM

He certainly has a storied name…Castro

Next to Lenin or Stalin, Obama has to be impressed.

txdoc on May 20, 2014 at 4:19 PM

Kinda like “hussein”, huh?

/saddam

runawayyyy on May 21, 2014 at 1:57 PM