Charity begins at home

Hot on the heels of both Charlie Rangel and Maxine Waters being charged with ethics violations by the House Ethics Committee, the Dallas Morning News reports that Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) has been routinely handing out scholarships from the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation to friends and family members:
Johnson awarded nine to eleven scholarships a year from 2005 to 2008, the most recent years for which information was available. Each of those years, three or four winners were related to her or her district director, Rod Givens.....Scholarships have gone to two of the Congresswoman's grandsons, Kirk and David Johnson; to two of her great-nephews, Gregory and Preston Moore: and to Givens' son and daughter. Givens did not respond to requests for comment, and none of the scholarship recipients could be reached....Of 43 scholarships awarded between 2005 and 2008, 15 went to relatives of Johnson or Givens..


To compound matters, the recipients of Johnson's nepotism weren't eligible for the funds, as they were not even living in her district. Updated information provided for the year 2009 indicates that 8 more scholarships were awarded to the family members of Representative Johnson and her aides, bringing the total to 23.


The availability of the scholarships, which are funded by charitable donations to the CBC, are supposed to be advertised to promote their dissemination to the most needy and deserving students, but:

Johnson's website makes no mention of the scholarships.


It appears that Johnson and Givens instead considered this money a slush fund available for their personal use. She seems rather nonplussed by the discovery of her apparent malfeasance, as though she feels she might be immune from scrutiny. When asked about the apparent nepotism, Johnson responded:

I recognized the names when I saw them. And I knew that they had a need just like any other kid that would apply for one. Had there been more worthy applicants in my district... then I probably wouldn't have given it (to the relatives.)


Charity and ethics experts consulted by the Dallas Morning News suggest that the apparent nepotism involved exposes the CBC Foundation, Representative Johnson and the scholarship recipients to a raftg of possible tax and fraud charges.

In light of the reports exposing her apparent malfeasance, Johnson now reports that she will reimburse the foundation for the scholarships by week's end.
Ralph Alter blogs at Right on Target 
Hot on the heels of both Charlie Rangel and Maxine Waters being charged with ethics violations by the House Ethics Committee, the Dallas Morning News reports that Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) has been routinely handing out scholarships from the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation to friends and family members:
Johnson awarded nine to eleven scholarships a year from 2005 to 2008, the most recent years for which information was available. Each of those years, three or four winners were related to her or her district director, Rod Givens.....Scholarships have gone to two of the Congresswoman's grandsons, Kirk and David Johnson; to two of her great-nephews, Gregory and Preston Moore: and to Givens' son and daughter. Givens did not respond to requests for comment, and none of the scholarship recipients could be reached....Of 43 scholarships awarded between 2005 and 2008, 15 went to relatives of Johnson or Givens..


To compound matters, the recipients of Johnson's nepotism weren't eligible for the funds, as they were not even living in her district. Updated information provided for the year 2009 indicates that 8 more scholarships were awarded to the family members of Representative Johnson and her aides, bringing the total to 23.


The availability of the scholarships, which are funded by charitable donations to the CBC, are supposed to be advertised to promote their dissemination to the most needy and deserving students, but:

Johnson's website makes no mention of the scholarships.


It appears that Johnson and Givens instead considered this money a slush fund available for their personal use. She seems rather nonplussed by the discovery of her apparent malfeasance, as though she feels she might be immune from scrutiny. When asked about the apparent nepotism, Johnson responded:

I recognized the names when I saw them. And I knew that they had a need just like any other kid that would apply for one. Had there been more worthy applicants in my district... then I probably wouldn't have given it (to the relatives.)


Charity and ethics experts consulted by the Dallas Morning News suggest that the apparent nepotism involved exposes the CBC Foundation, Representative Johnson and the scholarship recipients to a raftg of possible tax and fraud charges.

In light of the reports exposing her apparent malfeasance, Johnson now reports that she will reimburse the foundation for the scholarships by week's end.
Ralph Alter blogs at Right on Target 

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