By Jim Kouri
The already scandal-ridden Obama Justice Department is being accused of more misbehavior, according to a blog this week by a top “Inside the Beltway” watchdog group.
A Justice Department program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars each year to supposedly combat juvenile delinquency is now under fire for giving a leftist group nailed for rampant corruption in the past — the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now or ACORN — taxpayers’ money that was fraudulently spent.
According to a report on the Judicial Watch blog, this is just the latest of several controversies for the DOJ’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) which has managed to maintain a significant budget through the years despite multiple allegations of cronyism.
During the George W. Bush Administration, the OJJDP was accused of giving money to politically-connected groups that didn’t necessarily meet the agency’s goals.
Now, the Justice Department’s own Inspector General released a report that exposes corruption surrounding a $138,130 grant that OJJDP awarded to an ACORN branch in New York City. The IG’s audit found that there were internal control weaknesses, unsupported grant expenditures, lack of contractor monitoring, weaknesses in budget management, inadequate grant reporting, unmet conditions and deficiencies with the program’s overall performance.
The IG also describes the New York group as a “pass-through entity” for ACORN, the crooked nonprofit that’s raked in huge sums of taxpayer dollars over the years. In 2009, Congress actually passed a law (Defund ACORN Act) to ban federal funding for ACORN after a series of exposés about the group’s illegal activities, which include fraudulent voter registration drives and involvement in the housing market meltdown.
The group has close ties to President Barack Obama, who worked for ACORN as a “community organizer” in Chicago, prior to embarking on his political career.
Earlier this year a Judicial Watch probe found that the Obama Administration violated the ban on federal funding for ACORN by giving the beleaguered group nearly $80,000 to “combat housing and lending discrimination” against minorities.
After sorting through droves of government records, Judicial Watch investigators discovered that an ACORN affiliate in New Orleans, ACORN Housing Corporation Inc., got $79,819 as part of a larger $40 million allocation to “fair housing organizations” that educate the public and combat discrimination.
This year Judicial Watch also published a special report about the organization’s transformation into various spinoffs and affiliated groups. Amid a massive fraud scandal and a series of criminal probes, ACORN supposedly dismantled but the reality is that it simply changed its name.
For instance, under the rebranding New England United 4 Justice, ACORN has been one of the driving forces behind the movement to end economic segregation and social injustice in the U.S. culminating in the current Occupy Wall Street movement.
In fact, former Obama colleague and Green Jobs Czar, Van Jones, was recently hired by Occupy Wall Street and he’s being paid by the groups funding the OWS protests, such as the Tides Foundation, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and George Soros’ front organizations.
The Justice Department under Attorney General Eric Holder has been the focus of a number of investigations regarding misconduct and corruption including the New Black Panther Party’s voter intimidation case, the investigation of individuals who opposed Obama’s policies such as Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, and the major scandal involving Operation Fast and Furious that helped Mexican criminals obtain guns and kill U.S. law enforcement agents.