Justice Department Inspector General to Look Into ACORN Funds

Glenn Fine, the Inspector General of the Department of Justice today wrote to the Chairman and Ranking Republican of the House Judiciary Committee – Reps. John Conyers, D-Mich., and Lamar Smith, R-Texas -- informing them that his office is planning on opening a review into whether ACORN applied for or received any Justice Department grants or funds and whether or not the Justice Department ever carried out any audits or reviews of those funds. You can read the letter HERE . In a statement, Smith said that the IG’s report “will help Congress ensure that money allocated to support law enforcement efforts is not instead used to support criminal conduct. It is clear that ACORN has fostered a culture of corruption. With investigations of ACORN now occurring in 20 states, it is time for the FBI to open up a full scale investigation into possible criminal conduct by ACORN.” Last March Conyers seemed to express a willingness to look into allegations made against ACORN, though in May he backed off, issuing a statement saying , “Based on my review of the information regarding the complaints against ACORN, I have concluded that a hearing on this matter appears unwarranted at this time." In June Conyers explained to the Washington Times that "The powers that be decided against it.” The Washington Post yesterday published a lengthy look at the embattled community organization, looking at minutes from ACORN meetings last year that indicated the organization owed “over $800k to IRS…Haven't paid medical bills of over $300k. We are essentially 'broke' nationally and lots of offices are struggling." Embezzlement by Dale Rathke, the brother of ACORN founder Wade Rathke, had hurt the organization. "Leadership has no faith in staff. Wade betrayed them," the minutes said. Those minutes, obtained by ABC News, can be read HERE and HERE . -jpt

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