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He left well after the HUD inspector general had begun its review, but no mention of the probe was made when he departed.

Mr. Donovan called Mr. Jones a “tireless advocate” for HUD’s 8,000 employees in a statement after Mr. Jones accepted a job in Mr. McAuliffe’s Cabinet.

“Governor-Elect McAuliffe’s nomination today means that Maurice gets to go home to his family and his home state, where his public service career began,” Mr. Donovan said.

In 2012, The Washington Times reported that a federal financial disclosure form showed Mr. Jones pocketed more than a quarter-million dollars in bonus compensation as publisher of the Virginian-Pilot about the same time he was slashing newsroom jobs.