The Washington Times is reporting that ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, is suspending advising new clients as part of its service programs and is setting up an independent review to investigate what happened:
ACORN, calling the actions of some of its employees “indefensible,” has suspended advising new clients as part of its service programs and is setting up an independent review to see what happened.
ACORN chief executive Bertha Lewis said in a written statement that she was “ordering a halt to any new intakes into ACORN’s service programs until completion of an independent review.”
The actions were taken, she said, “as a result of indefensible action of a handful of our employees.”
Videos of ACORN workers giving tax advice to people posing as prostitutes and other revelations have led to growing criticism of the organization in recent days.
Lewis continued: “We have all been deeply disturbed by what weve seen in some of these videos. I must say, on behalf of ACORN’s Board and our Advisory Council, that we will go to whatever lengths necessary to reestablish the public trust. For nearly forty years, ACORN has given voice to communities, and gotten results. Right now, our nearly 500,000 member are working their hearts out for quality, affordable healthcare for every American and to help stop the foreclosure crisis. We must get this process right, so the good work can go forward.”
ACORN, an advocacy group, has fired at least four employees after hidden camera videos showed the group’s workers giving financial advice to women posing as prostitutes. The firings occurred in the group’s Washington and Baltimore offices.
I haven’t been following the ACORN story closely, but it suffices to say were there’s smoke there’s fire. The simple fact that ACORN has apparently fired at least four employees and is taking the steps announced today would seem to confirm what James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles uncovered.
My guess is that the independent review will ultimately find that actions documented O’Keefe and Giles were the work of rouge employees and not the result of institutional problems.