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HUD's Cabrera resigning

Cabrera The federal housing leader who helped orchestrate the takeover of Miami-Dade's housing agency resigned on Friday, saying he is tired and needs to take a few months off.

"I've had a wonderful experience these last few years, and I just want to take a few months to spend time with my wife and kids," said Orlando Cabrera, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's assistant secretary for public and Indian housing. "I know it sounds like the standard Potomac line, but it's not."

Cabrera - who was confirmed in November 2005 - told the Miami Herald he only stayed this long to see through HUD's takeover of the housing agency, which suffered from massive problems exposed in last year's House of Lies investigative series. The takeover was finalized Oct. 26, and will last at least nine months.

"Orlando has been a valuable asset to the team in his role as the assistant secretary," said HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson, through a spokeswoman. "We at HUD wish him well in his future endeavors."

Cabrera plans to stay on through Jan. 4, he said, and then take off three months. His family wants to stay in Washington but would not rule out other cities, including a return home to Miami.

"We don't want to move the kids again," said Cabrera, whose children are 9 and 11. "If someone drops an obscene amount of compensation and opportunity on me, of course I'd have to think about it. We miss home very much, but moving them again would hurt a lot."

He has no firm career plans, but said he would like to return to practicing law. He previously worked at a number of Florida firms and was general counsel to the Latin Builders Association.

"The law has been very good to me and I would consider it again, but there are a lot of other possibilities," he said. "There's one I'm closing myself to: I'm not interested at all in elected office."

He later said he is closing himself to another one as well: working at any local public-housing agency. HUD rules prevent him from doing so for at least two years, anyway, and he said the notion just doesn't interest him.

Read Cabrera's full resignation letter here: Download cabrera_resignation.pdf