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HUD Archives: News Releases
CUOMO ANNOUNCES SANCTIONS AGAINST FORMER HEAD OF CHEROKEE NATION HOUSING AUTHORITY
NOTE: This corrects an earlier version of this release by specifying the extent of the limit on doing business with HUD.
WASHINGTON – Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo today announced that HUD has restricted participation in HUD programs by the former Executive Director of the Cherokee Nation Housing Authority in Tahlequah, OK, as part of HUD’s continuing crackdown on waste, fraud and abuse.
Cuomo said that HUD has issued a Limited Denial of Participation against Joel Thompson to prohibit him for one year from participating in any HUD programs and contracts involving the HUD’s Office of Native American Programs in Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Texas and Louisiana. HUD offices around the nation will be made aware of the restriction and can also choose to bar Thompson from doing other business with the Department.
“We are working aggressively to wipe out waste, fraud and abuse in all HUD programs,” Cuomo said. “We want to make sure that families in need receive HUD assistance and we want to protect the investment of the American taxpayer.”
The action against Thompson is the result of ongoing investigations by HUD’s Southern Plains Office of Native American Programs and HUD’s Office of Inspector General.
A federal grand jury in Oklahoma handed down a 23-count federal indictment June 19 charging Thompson with embezzlement, mail fraud, and making false statements. It is alleged that Thompson misapplied Housing Authority funds for lobbying purposes and charged $57,000 in unauthorized travel costs to the Housing Authority.
The Cherokee Nation Housing Authority is funded by HUD to serve the housing needs of low-income Native American families in Oklahoma.
HUD’s Native American programs provide funds to over 570 recognized tribes across the country.
Content Archived: January 20, 2009