Two House Republican ranking members on Thursday applauded the Government Accountability Office’s decision to open an investigation into the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now’s (ACORN) use of federal funds.
Reps. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Lamar Smith (R-Texas), ranking members of the House Oversight and Government Reform and Judiciary committees, respectively, in September requested that the GAO look into whether the embattled group had properly used taxpayer dollars.
The GAO informed Smith of its decision in a letter dated Dec. 7.
“ACORN’s criminal acts over many years have robbed taxpayers and charitable donors of the honest public services ACORN was paid to provide,— Issa said in a statement. “This GAO study should be another step toward understanding the scope of funds from across the Federal government that were sent to ACORN yet cannot be verified that they were used as intended.—
Smith said the GAO review was a step in the right direction but that a criminal investigation is also necessary.
“The GAO review is a good start, but given ACORN’s extensive record of criminal conduct, the FBI must also step in,— Smith said in a statement. “Only an independent criminal investigation conducted by the FBI can get to the bottom of the nationwide allegations against ACORN.—
ACORN has been accused of participating in voter registration fraud as well as other criminal activity.
Bertha Lewis, ACORN CEO and chief organizer, said ACORN would comply with GAO requests for information.
“We will provide the GAO any information that may be helpful, as we have
with other agencies,— she said in an e-mail to Roll Call. “Anyone looking at the facts will learn that ACORN members are doing good work to improve their communities and that while most of our work is privately funded, any public funds have been used properly.—