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Former Trump event planner hired to lead NY, NJ housing office

NEW YORK — A longtime Donald Trump ally who was named chief of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s regional office in New York and New Jersey is defending her qualifications.

The agency announced Monday the appointment of Lynne Patton, who served as a personal assistant to Trump’s son Eric Trump. Patton initially had joined HUD last winter as a senior adviser to the agency’s secretary, Ben Carson.

Word of Patton’s likely appointment was first reported earlier this month by the New York Daily News. That brought a wave of criticism from Democrats who questioned whether she had the work experience necessary for the job.

Before joining HUD, Patton had no experience in housing or urban development. She planned tournaments at Trump golf courses and Eric Trump’s wedding.

Patton says in an interview with The New York Times she thinks her critics are merely trying to embarrass the Trump family.