WASHINGTON — House investigators Thursday summoned U.S. Trade Representative Carla Anderson Hills to testify next week at hearings on political favoritism at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Hills, a secretary of housing in the mid-1970s, will be asked about her intervention in 1985 with top officials of the agency on behalf of DRG Funding Corp., a troubled mortgage lender that was suspended by HUD recently after defaulting on mortgage loans. She will also be asked about her representation of a Florida real estate firm that received at least one grant for moderate rehabilitation--or "Mod Rehab"--public housing units for the poor.
Her invitation was reported as the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee voted to conduct its own investigation of the HUD scandals, already the subject of an inquiry by a House Government Operations subcommittee chaired by Rep. Tom Lantos (D-San Mateo).
Lantos denied reports, however, that his panel would grant immunity to Deborah Gore Dean, a once-powerful aide to former HUD Secretary Samuel R. Pierce Jr., to obtain her testimony about Pierce's role in approval of multimillion-dollar federal grants to politically well-connected developers.