President Donald Trump is under fire for his selection of Lynne Patton to head up the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Region II, which includes New York and New Jersey. There, she will be directing the states’ federal-housing programs and manage billions of tax dollars.
In 2009, Patton became the Trump family’s event planner. She has coordinated and hosted dozens of events—ranging from golf tournaments to Eric Trump’s wedding. Patton also served as the Trump family’s liaison while they were on the campaign trail.
In early February 2017, Trump appointed Patton to serve under Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson. Patton served as Carson’s senior adviser and director of the office of public liaison.
At the time, reports indicated Patton was being considered for a job at HUD or the White House as a special assistant to President Donald Trump. After joining HUD, Patton said, “’I chose HUD because not only has our president and his administration made promises to the African-American, Hispanic & Native-American communities during the campaign, but I have too and I know that Dr. Carson has, in kind, and I believe that at HUD, we can make a more immediate and significant impact in bringing those promises to fruition.”
It was also revealed back in February that the Trump Organization, which is now being run by Donald Trump’s two older sons, owns a four-percent share in Starrett City—a New York, housing development that gets federal affordable-housing funds. The shares were inherited from Trump’s father, Fred Trump. Donald Trump has valued the shares as being worth somewhere between $5 million and $25 million. He also said the property revenues for last year were between $1 million and $5 million.
Between this little detail and the appointing of Lynne Patton, who is a family friend and has little experience with HUD, there are some very real concerns about the potential for Trump and his partners to profit off this latest appointment. When Patton was just Carson’s adviser, she did not have access to distributing federal funds, but in her new role, that has obviously changed–it’s certainly raising some eyebrows.