Mayor White reviews local ACORN group

September 16, 2009 8:15:37 PM PDT
In the midst of a couple of internet videos which show national ACORN employees agreeing to skirt the law and fund a fictitious prostitution ring, Houston Mayor Bill White reviewed a local grant. Mayor White didn't think anything was done wrong, but he looked at a $155,000 grant given to ACORN from the City of Houston just to make sure everything was on the up-and-up. The grant was to help people facing home foreclosure.

You may recall the video posted earlier this week on the conservative website, BigGovernment.com. It claims to show an ACORN employee in Baltimore giving illegal advice to a couple posing as a prostitute and a pimp. At least four ACORN employees have been fired.

Mayor White says he has no reason to believe anything inappropriate is going on here in Houston and he commented on the internet video.

"People were ill-trained and I'm not even sure they knew what they were doing, but it certainly should make governmental entities a lot more careful when they go about contracting with ACORN," said Mayor White.

We spoke with a member of ACORN Houston who said they are a legitimate organization.

"We really don't have any secrets or anything to hide. We're proud of our work. We're proud of the allies we have," said Ginny Goldman of ACORN Houston.

The review of the ACORN Houston was completed and Mayor White said the group helped 270 families restructure their mortgages so their homes did not face foreclosure.

Bertha Lewis, CEO of the national ACORN group, Wednesday ordered an independent investigation into the group's systems and processes. The group is still under scrutiny for several cases of voter registration fraud during 2008 and the Senate voted on Monday to block federal funding for the group.

ACORN stands for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.

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