Johnson: St. HOPE Allegations Aren't Severe
KXJZ file photo/Ben Adler
Sacramento mayoral candidate Kevin Johnson says the St. HOPE non-profit he founded that’s under investigation by the federal government might have committed administrative errors. But he denies the specific allegations the feds released Thursday.
Friday, September 26, 2008
“I don’t think the allegations are severe. The majority of them are administrative – we’re talking about $200,000 for a couple years – and what it’s amounting to is they’re saying we did not spend the money the way we should have, or misallocated funds. I don’t believe that we’ve done that. If we are found to have some sort of wrongdoing, I think it will be minor. If there is a fee that we have to pay, then we would do it immediately and pay that fee, because that was not the intent.”
On Wednesday, the government temporarily banned Johnson, the St. HOPE Academy and another former employee from receiving federal funds until the investigation is complete.
And Thursday, the AmeriCorps inspector general’s office released the evidence used to justify that ban. Potential violations include AmeriCorps members engaging in political activities and running personal errands for Johnson.
The investigation is now in the hands of the Justice Department, which will decide whether to charge Johnson and St. HOPE civilly, criminally or not at all.