Can We Add Abuse of Power to the IG Scandal?

| July 23, 2009 | 4 Replies

Well, what do we have here? A little abuse of power in the IG Scandal, perhaps?

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson has asked U.S. Rep. Doris Matsui to help keep the flow of federal funds coming into the city.

Johnson is not allowed to receive federal funds because of allegations his St. Hope-Hood Corps Foundation misused federal money.

Matsui, D-District 5, who appeared on the KCRA 3 Morning News on Saturday morning, said she believes Sacramento will get money, but she can’t guarantee it.

“Under any scenario, we are going to get the money. We are going to get the money,” she said. “I understand that process has to unfold. The mayor is dealing with that. We are dealing with the situation at the federal level. The city is taking the right steps. They have to disclose this, and we are moving forward.”

Matsui added that she has been in contact with White House officials and other members of the federal government.

Here’s why this matters. The prohibition against Johnson was lifted over (at the time) Inspector General Walpin’s express objection. Thanks to negotiations between the board that runs the AmeriCorps program and the US Attorney in Sacramento which specifically excluded Walpin, Johnson’s punishment was changed so that Sacramento could get a big truckload of your tax money.

Remember that Walpin had found that Johnson had misused several hundred thousand dollars of our money already, so it’s not like Walpin was being unreasonable. However, someone apparently thought he was. Less than a month after he dug in his heels, he got a call from the White House that he had 24 hours to resign or he’d be fired.

Did Representative Matsui have something to do with that call? The interview certainly puts her in the picture but we won’t know for sure until there is a full investigation. Unfortunately, the Democrats don’t seem to be very interested in looking into the matter.

UPDATE: Chopped liver? Heck, man. I don’t even get on the same plate as chopped liver.

UPDATE 2: Double linked by Moe Lane, whose roundup is always worth your time if you follow this story. Linked also at the AmSpec Blog.

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Category: The Economy and Your Money

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