A spokesman for the Housing and Urban Development Department on Friday pushed back against reports that event planner and former official for the Eric Trump Foundation Lynne Patton had been chosen to run the agency’s office for New York and New Jersey.
“That’s not so, that position’s still vacant,” HUD spokesman Jereon Brown said. “There has not been a nomination or appointment made at this time.”
The New York Daily News reported Thursday that Patton had been picked to run the department’s Region II office, which manages the two northeastern states’ federal housing programs and distributes billions of taxpayer dollars.
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Patton appears to have no relevant experience in government housing programs, aside from her current role as a senior adviser to HUD Secretary Ben Carson. Carson received criticism on similar grounds from Democrats and housing advocates when he was nominated to his post last December, and sparked controversy when he said that poverty was “a state of mind.”
Although Brown disputed whether Patton had been tapped for the Region II office leadership, he could not say whether she was under consideration. The position is not subject to Senate confirmation.
“I don’t know, I’m not part of the nomination process,” Brown said. “The position’s vacant, there’s been no nomination or anything.”
Patton has worked with the Trump family since 2009, when she was employed as an event planner. From 2011 until this year, she was a vice president for the Eric Trump Foundation, which is under investigation by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. She also worked on the Trump presidential campaign.
The Daily News also noted apparent discrepancies on Patton’s LinkedIn resume, most notably that although she claims to have a law degree from Quinnipiac University, school officials said she did not graduate.
Patton responded to the allegation Thursday night on Twitter:
Or conversely "When did you finish law school" but you know you never did, you could answer N/A because it doesn't apply to you