Update June 13th: Byron York of the Washington Examiner has a lengthy article with more details here. For those of us concerned with grant fraud generally it gives us a window into the process that involves “suspension and debarment” of organizations that have misused federal grants. Allegations against the Somali Center in Nashville come to mind!
Your tax dollars:
O.k. so you say this story from AP entitled, “Obama ousts AmeriCorps’ IG who investigated friend” has nothing to do with the refugee program. Well, you are right at least this scandal has no direct connection that I know of. However, if I had enough hours in the day, I would be writing a blog on this issue—non-profit groups that receive government (taxpayer funded) grants and who push policy and misuse public funds need to be exposed. I’m not talking about legitimate non-profits, but the phoney ones, the ones that pretend to be non-profits but are literally policy arms of the political left or those who enrich themselves under the cover of a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization all the while using the people’s money.
In this case, the Inspector General appears to have done his job and recovered taxpayer money and returned it to the Treasury and what did he get for his work? Obama fired him!
WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama says he has lost confidence in the inspector general who investigates AmeriCorps and other national service programs and has told Congress he is removing him from the position.
Obama’s move follows an investigation by IG Gerald Walpin finding misuse of federal grants by a nonprofit education group led by Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, who is an Obama supporter and former NBA basketball star.
Walpin was criticized by the acting U.S. attorney in Sacramento for the way he handled the investigation of Johnson and St. HOPE Academy, a nonprofit group that received hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal grants from the Corporation for National and Community Service, which runs the AmeriCorps program.
St. HOPE Academy ended up repaying more than $400,000 in government funds.
“It is vital that I have the fullest confidence in the appointees serving as inspectors general,” Obama said in a letter Thursday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Joe Biden, who also serves as president of the Senate. “That is no longer the case with regard to this inspector general.”
Senator Charles Grassley* sent a letter to Obama wanting an explanation.
Grassley said Walpin had identified millions of dollars in AmeriCorps funds that were wasted or misspent and “it appears he has been doing a good job.”
Here is what the fired IG uncovered:
The IG found that Johnson, a former all-star point guard for the Phoenix Suns, had used AmeriCorps grants to pay volunteers to engage in school-board political activities, run personal errands for Johnson and even wash his car.
So it seems that instead of encouraging exposure of non-proft group abuses, Obama’s action today will further put a chill on anyone in an official position to expose fraud and protect the taxpayers of the United States.
You know that Tides Foundation I told you about last week, they get federal money too. I wonder if anyone has investigated them. How do we know if the taxpayer money passing through that foundation doesn’t end up being used for illegitimate purposes?
* Senator Grassley must be a one-man watchdog of the non-profit groups. Here is a racket he uncovered involving the Nature Conservancy—one I personally knew was happening nearly 20 years ago.