NEW YORK CITY (CBSLA.com) — President Donald Trump this week appointed his son’s wedding planner to head up a federal housing agency in New York City, and local legislators are sounding off on the appointee, who they say is less than qualified for the important position.
Lynne Patton on Wednesday was appointed to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Region II, which includes New York State and New Jersey, despite having zero housing experience, The New York Daily News has reported.
In addition to planning Eric Trump’s wedding, Patton is a former vice president of the Eric Trump Foundation, a nonprofit organization that raises money for children with cancer and which has recently been under scrutiny for paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to Trump properties for use of their facilities.
At a Black History Month event this February, where now-HUD Secretary Ben Carson was also present, Patton said she had been with the Trump family for about eight years and that she would “be landing with Dr. Carson at HUD” as adviser and director of public engagement.
Although she did not dive too deep into her bona fides at that meeting, she also boasts the planning of Trump golf tournaments. In dispute now is whether or not she ever claimed to have earned a law degree from Yale, a claim she never made to her boss Ben Carson, a friend of his told The New York Times.
On her website Friday, Democratic Congresswoman Nydia M. Velásquez, who represents Brooklyn, parts of Manhattan and Queens, called Patton’s appointment “a slap in the face to New Yorkers, [the New York City Housing Authority] residents and all Americans who rely on well administered HUD programs to have livable housing and safe communities.”
In a public letter to President Trump, fellow Democrat Grace Meng, also of Queens, echoed the outrage:
“Frankly, serving as your family’s event planner and as an employee of the Eric Trump Foundation, which is currently under investigation by New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman for criminal activities, does not qualify an individual to serve as “head of the biggest HUD regional office in the U.S. [which] oversees 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.”
She finished her pointed statement telling the President, “This is not ‘The Apprentice’; the federal government is not your personal patronage system. On behalf of every New Yorker who relies on NYCHA to survive, I ask you to start acting as such.”
Patton starts her new job July 5, according to The New York Daily News.