HUD CIO Johnson Joy abruptly resigns amid fraud, retaliation allegations
The Department of Housing and Urban Development will be on the hunt for a new CIO after Johnson Joy abruptly stepped down from the job Tuesday morning.
A HUD spokesman confirmed to FedScoop that Joy, who assumed the role in June 2017, had offered his resignation to Secretary Ben Carson and had been replaced by Chad Cowan, chief of staff to the deputy secretary.
The Guardian first reported Joy’s departure, following stories that alleged the CIO and one of his aides had ties to an obscure religious nonprofit in Houston. The aide, Naved Jafry, resigned last week after it was revealed that he had been the subject of multiple fraud lawsuits and may have included inaccuracies in his official biography.
The Guardian said Tuesday it was preparing to run a story that claimed Joy fired an executive assistant who “raised concerns about possible corruption in Joy’s office,” alleging Joy issued overpayments to a contractor that staffed the CIO’s office. The whistleblower, Katrina Hubbard, told the Guardian that Joy fired her for alerting higher authorities within HUD.
According to the report, Joy was escorted from the HUD headquarters by security.
Joy was among an initial wave of new CIOs who entered the federal workforce during the first year of the Trump administration. He came to Washington from Houston, where he served as CEO of IT consulting firm J3 Global Inc.
Joy’s replacement Cowan comes largely from a communications background, serving in the Office of Personnel Management, Freddie Mac — including as internal communications director of its IT Business Transformation Office — and elsewhere in the private sector. He came to HUD in August 2017 as deputy assistant secretary for public affairs.