Silent Sam Speaks Up

In his first major interview since the HUD scandal came to light, Samuel Pierce met last week with TIME correspondents Michael Riley and Nancy Traver. At his request, 13 questions to be asked were sent to Pierce in writing beforehand. During the four-hour discussion, he frequently read from handwritten notes. Excerpts:

Q. Were you a hands-off manager, ineffective and uninterested in housing?

A. Such characterizations are lopsided. They disregard the assignment President Reagan gave me -- to reduce the size and the cost of Government while helping the most needy -- and they bypass my achievements. When I became Secretary, HUD's...

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