Postmaster General Under Investigation for VIP Mortgage
The Friends-of-Angelo story just won't entirely go away, even after stealing headlines earlier this summer. The U.S. postmaster general John E. Potter is under formal investigation by the Postal Service for allegedly receiving a sweetheart deal on his mortgage via Countrywide Financial, officials confirmed to the press over the weekend. An outside investigator is reviewing Potter's mortgage, which reportedly included one shaved point and waived fees for his $322,700 loan, officials told the Associated Press. "We're taking it seriously enough that we wanted it reviewed and we didn't want it done internally," Alan Kessler, chairman of the Postal Service Board of Governors, told the AP in an interview. The frenzy over preferential treatment on mortgage began with a Wall Street Journal story on June 7 that suggested James Johnson, at the time an adviser to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, had received a sweetheart loan from Mozilo directly; it didn’t take but a week for Obama to jettison Johnson from his staff, after the allegations came to light. It seemed that might be the end of the issue, but as with most things on Capitol Hill, if someone keeps pulling a thread, it eventually becomes clear just how much sweater was really knit. Doing the thread-pulling in this case was Portfolio.com, which unloaded a doozy last week, claiming that Senators Christopher Dodd (D-CT), chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, as well as Kent Conrad (D-ND), chairman of the Senate Budget Committee and a member of the Finance Committee, were both beneficiaries of the same hush-hush VIP lending program. For his part, Dodd has continually denied knowingly receiving special treatment, although he has acknowledged that he knew he was receiving a special loan from Countrywide. Write to Paul Jackson at email@example.com.