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Duckworth meets with HUD inspector general nominee

U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth (left), D-Illinois, meets with Rae Oliver Davis, President Donald Trump's nominee to lead the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General. Oliver Davis is a Metropolis native. 

METROPOLIS — President Donald Trump’s pick to serve as the chief monitor of the nation’s multibillion-dollar federal housing programs is a Southern Illinois native.

Last month, the president announced the nomination of Rae Oliver Davis, originally of Metropolis, to serve as the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General.

The agency’s independent investigatory arm conducts audits of HUD programs, and investigates allegations of mismanagement and fraud at the federal agency and its thousands of participating public and private partners throughout the country.

Oliver Davis is a graduate of Massac High School. She has reviewed federal programs for more than a decade. In addition to overseeing HUD programs, she previously was assigned to monitor the U.S. Postal Service and the Troubled Asset Relief Program, which was designed to stabilize the country’s financial sector in the run up to the economic crash of the late 2000s.

Her nomination is pending Senate confirmation.

U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth, D-Illinois, met with Oliver Davis on Wednesday. According to a press release from Duckworth’s office, the two had an extensive conversation about the housing crises in Cairo and Thebes — communities located about an hour from Oliver Davis’ hometown. She now lives in Virginia and works in the nation's capital.

The HUD Office of Inspector General is working on at least two reports requested by Duckworth and others about allegations of mismanagement, negligence and fraud by the Alexander County Housing Authority and HUD oversight failures, according to the news release.

“During our conversation today, Ms. Oliver Davis and I discussed the importance of independence at the agency and ongoing communication to protect families in public housing. I am hopeful that, if confirmed, she will work with me to ensure housing agencies across Illinois and the country remain accountable to the families they serve,” Duckworth said in a statement.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, also met with Oliver Davis, on Thursday. Likewise, he called the loss of public housing in Alexander County "nothing short of a tragedy."

"I urged Ms. Oliver Davis that, if confirmed, she make that her priority as the head of HUD's Office of Inspector General," Durbin said in a statement.  

Oliver Davis currently serves as an acting assistant inspector general for the agency. She has previously served as an assistant U.S. attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, from 2002 to 2007, and an assistant attorney general for the state of Tennessee from 1999 to 2002. She received her undergraduate degree from Murray State University in western Kentucky, and her law degree from the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School Of Law.

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molly.parker@thesouthern.com

618-351-5079

On Twitter: @MollyParkerSI ​

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Molly Parker is general assignment and investigative projects reporter for The Southern Illinoisan.

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