Controversial Texas Mayor Named Regional Administrator for HUD

Controversial Irving, Texas, Mayor Beth Van Duyne recently announced that she accepted a new job as a regional administrator for HUD. She will oversee HUD in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arkansas, and Louisiana.

For more than a decade on the Irving City Council, Van Duyne made national headlines for her vocal stances on illegal immigration and controversial comments on her northeast Texas city’s Muslim population. Most memorably, she served up a passionate response to reports of an Islamic tribunal in Irving issuing non-binding rulings on civil disputes using Sharia law. In a Feb. 6, 2015, Facebook post, she dubbed the panel a “Sharia Law Court” and said she was “working to better understand” it. “I will not stand idle and will fight with every fiber of my being against this action,” she wrote. “Our nation cannot be so overly sensitive in defending other cultures that we stop protecting our own.”

Van Duyne also, until earlier this year, was named as a co-defendant in a defamation lawsuit filed by the father of Mohamed, the Muslim teen accused in 2015 of bringing a hoax bomb to school. The suit cited Van Duyne’s Sept. 21, 2015, visit to Glenn Beck’s show, where the host posited a theory that “for some reason Irving is important to the Islamists, not the Muslims, but the Islamists” in some larger plot. Van Duyne “did not object to or correct any of the comments,” the suit claimed. Van Duyne and Beck were both dismissed from the defamation lawsuit in January.

Van Duyne’s prior experience includes stints as an executive with business management and consulting firm Akili, and she previously ran her own marketing company. She was first elected to the Irving City Council in 2004 and has finished her second mayoral term.