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Cisneros Steps Aside As HUD Secretary

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WASHINGTON (CNN, Nov. 21) -- Housing and Urban Development Secretary Henry Cisneros will leave his post after President Bill Clinton's inauguration Jan. 20.

Cisneros forwarded a formal letter of resignation to the White House this afternoon. Deputy White House spokesman Barry Toiv confirmed that Cisneros had decided to step down.

"Though I would like to help build on the progress we have made... I have concluded that I cannot ask to be considered for service in the next four years," Cisneros wrote in his letter to Clinton.

"The past four years have deepened my patriotism and love for our country," Cisneros wrote. "On a personal note, after four years of service in your administration, I have constantly grown in my respect for the clarity of your vision for the American future, for your judgments and for your tireless dedication.

"Due principally to your economic decisions and your willingness to invest in community building, I believe that the decades-long free fall of America's cities is ending and that cities all across the nation are coming back," Cisneros wrote. "City leaders today have realistic hopes and plans, solid prospects and successes. You have positioned the federal government as an effective and reliable partner standing with them."

In a statement, Toiv said: "The president thanks Secretary Cisneros for his outstanding service as both a Cabinet member and friend."

"The Department has made great strides under Cisneros' leadership. The president looks forward to a formal occasion in which to thank Cisneros for his tenure," Toiv said.

Officials describe Cisneros as one of the president's closest and most trusted advisers. Toiv would not comment on possible replacements nor the timing of the departure.


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