Breaking: Obama Picks Jarrett As Top Advisor… Breaking: Obama Advisor Jarrett Tied to Rezko Real Estate Scandal
President-elect Barack Obama is naming his longtime friend and supporter Valerie Jarrett to be his White House senior adviser.
Jarrett, who hired Michelle Obama for a job in the Chicago mayor’s office years ago, is one of the president-elect’s closest friends and advisers. Her name has been floated for several top administration jobs. But Obama settled on the senior adviser role, said a person close to the president-elect and willing to speak only on background because the decision has not been officially announced.
A White House senior adviser can handle a range of duties. President George W. Bush’s top political aide Karl Rove held the title in the current administration.
Jarrett has a background in real estate and politics in Chicago.
Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it has obtained documents linking Valerie Jarrett, an advisor to Barack Obama and the co-chairman of the President-Elect’s transition team, to a series of real estate scandals, including several housing projects operated by convicted felon and Obama fundraiser/friend Antoin “Tony” Rezko.
According to the documents obtained by Judicial Watch from the Illinois Secretary of State, Valerie Jarrett served as a board member for several organizations that provided funding and support for Chicago housing projects operated by real estate developers and Obama financial backers Rezko and Allison Davis. (Davis is also Obama’s former boss.) Jarrett was a member of the Board of Directors for the Woodlawn Preservation and Investment Corporation along with several Davis and Rezko associates, as well as the Fund for Community Redevelopment and Revitalization, an organization that worked with Rezko and Davis.
(According to press reports, housing projects operated by Davis and Rezko have been substandard and beset with code violations. The Chicago Sun Times reported that one Rezko-managed housing project was “riddled with problems — including squalid living conditions…lack of heat, squatters and drug dealers.”)
As Chief Executive Officer of the Habitat Company Jarrett also managed a controversial housing project located in Obama’s former state senate district called Grove Parc Plaza. According to the Boston Globe the housing complex was considered “uninhabitable by unfixed problems, such as collapsed roofs and fire damage.