As former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión Jr. gears up for a mayoral run, his brief stint as director of the White House Office of Urban Affairs could prove to be a hurdle for his campaign, according to the Wall Street Journal. In May 2010, Carrión stepped down as director of the urban affairs office, after just 14 months for a a mid-level position in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, from which he also stepped down in early 2012. Carrión’s departure coincided with a city Conflicts of Interest Board investigation into his employment of architect Hugo Subotovsky to design a $26,000 balcony and porch extension for his home. At the time, Subotovsky was part of a team seeking the city’s approval for a 452-unit, $81 million Bronx affordable housing project in Melrose known as Boricua Village.
After initially denying that there was any conflict of interest, Carrión eventually admitted to breaking the conflict-of-interest law and paid a $10,000 civil fine in 2011.
Formerly a Democrat, Carrión is now running as a Republican in his quest for the mayoral office. But when the Journal recently asked Staten Island GOP chairman Robert Scamardella, if Carrión’s somewhat mysterious decampment from Washington could negatively impact the campaign, he responded that the circumstances should be “probed a little bit more.” Carrión has stated that he left his position as HUD director for family reasons.
However, sources familiar with the matter told the Journal that White House officials were concerned that Carrión was unable to manage relationships with senior administration officials, particularly with President Obama’s senior adviser Valerie Jarrett. And another source claimed that the White House had also become concerned that Carrión had not been completely forthright about the details of the Conflicts of Interest Board investigation. [WSJ] —Christo