Where is the mainstream medias reporting of Barack & Michelle’s ties to the corruption within Americorp?
Obama’s campaign speech in Colorado Springs, Colorado – July 2, 2008
Today, AmeriCorps — our nation’s network of local, state, and national service programs — has 75,000 slots. And I know firsthand the quality of these programs. My wife, Michelle, once left her job at a law firm and at City Hall to be a founding director of an AmeriCorps program in Chicago that trains young people for careers in public service. And these programs invest Americans in their communities and their country. They tap America’s greatest resource — our citizens.
And that’s why as president, I will expand AmeriCorps to 250,000 slots and make that increased service a vehicle to meet national goals like providing health care and education, saving our planet and restoring our standing in the world, so that citizens see their efforts connected to a common purpose. People of all ages, stations, and skills will be asked to serve. Because when it comes to the challenges we face, the American people are not the problem — they are the answer.
So we are going to send — we’re going to send more college graduates to teach and mentor our young people. We’ll call on Americans to join an Energy Corps to conduct renewable energy and environmental cleanup projects in their neighborhoods all across the country. We will enlist our veterans to find jobs and support for other vets, to be there for our military families. And we’re going to grow our Foreign Service, open consulates that have been shuttered, and double the size of the Peace Corps by 2011 to renew our diplomacy.
We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.
We need to use technology to connect people to service. We’ll expand USA Freedom Corps to create online networks where Americans can browse opportunities to volunteer. You’ll be able to search by category, time commitment, and skill sets; you’ll be able to rate service opportunities, build service networks, and create your own service pages to track your hours and activities. This will empower more Americans to craft their own service agenda, and make their own change from the bottom up.
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson & St. Hope Academy investigated by Gerald Walpin
Federal agents arrive in Sacramento to investigate St. HOPE’s use of federal grant money and Johnson’s alleged misconduct toward two teens in the Hood Corps program.
Johnson says St. HOPE made no major transgressions in Hood Corps, though he acknowledges there might have been minor oversights. He denies having any inappropriate contact with any girl in Sacramento.
Citing lack of evidence, the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department concurs with city police that no criminal case can be made against Johnson.
Johnson defeats incumbent Mayor Heather Fargo, 46 percent to 40 percent, in the June primary election. But lacking a majority of the vote, he must face her again in a November runoff.
The Bee reports that the continuing federal investigation into St. HOPE has expanded to scrutinize more deeply the volunteer program’s use of $807,000 in AmeriCorps funds, which were intended to support community service, including tutoring, public relations for the Guild Theater and managing redevelopment of one Oak Park building per year.
Federal agents say they have turned the St. HOPE case over to the U.S. attorney’s office in Sacramento.
Johnson, St. HOPE Academy and former top executive Dana Gonzalez placed on the government’s “excluded parties” list, barring them from receiving federal money until the investigation into the use of AmeriCorps funds is completed.
Federal officials release findings of their investigation of Johnson and Hood Corps citing violations that include supplementing salaries for St. HOPE school staff with federal grant funds, having volunteers engage in political activities, such as canvassing for school board members, and having participants run personal errands for Johnson.
Johnson says it is absurd to suggest that his inclusion on the excluded parties list would hurt his ability to act as Sacramento’s mayor.
Johnson defeats incumbent Heather Fargo, 57 to 42 percent, to become Sacramento’s first African American mayor.
U.S. Attorney McGregor Scott says that the investigation of Johnson and Hood Corps does not warrant criminal charges. A decision on a possible civil lawsuit awaits results of an audit by the Office of the Inspector General (Gerald Walpin) for the Corporation for National and Community Service.
Sacramento City Unified School District trustees approve a plan for the education wing of Johnson’s organizations, St. HOPE Public Schools, to gradually pay off the remaining $730,000 of an accumulated $1 million debt owed to the district.
The Bee reports that Frederic M. Levy, a government contracting expert hired by the city, concluded in a confidential memo that Sacramento is likely barred from getting federal money – including tens of millions expected from the stimulus package – because Johnson is on the federal excluded parties list.
Johnson disputes Levy’s memo.
Johnson threatens to sue the federal government if he is not taken off the excluded parties list.
April 9, 2009
Johnson settles his case with the federal government and is taken off a list of individuals barred from receiving federal funds.
Obama fires Walpin. AmeriCorps feared bad press if IG investigation continued.
On the evening of Wednesday, June 10, an official of the White House counsel’s office called Walpin to tell him he had one hour to resign or be fired.
The action flew in the face of a law (sponsored by Barack Obama when he was a senator) that requires the president to give Congress 30 days’ notice, plus cause, when he intends to fire an IG. In this case, the White House apparently wanted to dispatch Walpin quickly by pushing him to resign, which would not have required the president to go through the congressional notification process. Instead, Walpin refused to quit, and only then did the White House tell Congress.
Why the rush? Walpin had certainly displeased the board by his aggressive investigation into the misuse of AmeriCorps funds by Kevin Johnson, the former NBA star who is now mayor of Sacramento, California and a prominent supporter of President Obama.
Prior to his election as mayor, Johnson ran an educational organization called St. HOPE, which received $850,000 in AmeriCorps money. Walpin discovered that Johnson and St. HOPE had failed to use the federal money for the purposes specified in the grant and had also used federally-funded AmeriCorps staff for, among other things, “driving [Johnson] to personal appointments, washing his car, and running personal errands.”
Whatever Walpin’s demeanor, it appears that board members, of both parties, were worried about the possibility of embarrassing new revelations involving a sensational case they thought had been closed. After the meeting, the board began an accelerated effort to remove Walpin, compiling an informal list of grievances against him — he could be difficult, he telecommuted, he was somehow disabled — that the White House would ultimately cite as cause for his firing. But there is no doubt that, whatever the other reasons, the board feared that a revival of a scandal they thought was in the past would be embarrassing to the newly-prominent AmeriCorps.
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