U.S. housing finance agency chief Watt says he is under investigation

U.S. housing finance agency chief Watt says he is under investigation

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The director of the Federal Housing Finance Company (FHFA), Mel Watt, confirmed on Friday that he’s beneath investigation after Politico reported that he was being probed for alleged sexual harassment of an company worker.

Federal Housing Finance Company Director Mel Watt testifies earlier than a Senate Banking Committee listening to on ‘The Standing of the Housing Finance System After 9 Years of Conservatorship’ on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., Might 11, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

“The selective leaks associated to this matter are clearly meant to embarrass or to result in an unfounded or political conclusion,” Watt stated in a press release. “I’m assured that the investigation presently in progress will affirm that I’ve not performed something opposite to regulation.”

FHFA regulates mortgage guarantors Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Politico reported, citing paperwork and partial transcripts of tapes it obtained, that an FHFA workers member accused Watt of constructing inappropriate sexual advances when she tried to debate profession and wage issues.

Politico reported that the worker, who it didn’t identify, had filed an Equal Employment Alternative grievance.

Diane Seltzer Torre, the worker’s legal professional, confirmed the investigation to Politico, and stated, “Our choice is to let that investigation proceed.”

Seltzer Torre couldn’t be reached by Reuters for remark.

Watt, a former Democratic congressman from North Carolina, was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2014 to go the unbiased housing regulator. His time period is because of finish in January.

The regulator has been beneath strain from Fannie and Freddie’s shareholders, which declare its construction is unconstitutional as a result of the director has an excessive amount of energy and can’t be eliminated by the president apart from trigger. A federal appeals courtroom this month sided with the shareholders.

Reporting by Eric Beech, Patrick Rucker and Michelle Value; Modifying by Tim Ahmann

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