The Swarm

Mix it up with The Bee's editorial board.

October 27, 2008
US Attorney should resolve St. Hope and Johnson questions

Some labor unions  that want to re-elect Sacramento Mayor Heather Fargo and defeat challenger Kevin Johnson are airing a bunch of misleading  ads that say federal funds for school lunch  and reading programs have been cut off at two charter schools run by Johnson's St. Hope organization . The ads appear to be flat out lies. According to the principal of St. Hope's Public Schools, federal funds continue to flow to both schools. A spokesperson for the Sacramento Unified School District says the district has received no confirmation of any cut off of federal funds to either. 

Rumors of a cutoff began flying after Inspector General Gerald Walpin sent out a press release last month  announcing the government was suspending all federal grants to Johnson's St. Hope organization because Johnson may have committed "potential criminal violations," But that investigation targeted only St. Hope Academy's Hood Corps (a domestic urban Peace Corps-type program), not its charter schools. The folks who put out the false ad must know that.

Walpin's report was refered to the U.S. Attorney's office for possible federal prosecution. When I asked him about the report last month, U.S. Attorney McGregor Scott  told me that "he was"sensitive to the bigger picture," and promised to move "as expeditiously as we can in a professional manner to make the decisions required of us in a timely manner. " By timely, I had hoped Scott meant before the election. That's just nine days away now.  It's been almost a month since IG Walpin made his highly sensational allegations public. Johnson says the charges are bogus. Nonetheless, Fargo supporters are exaggerating them to try to defeat Johnson. Parents and students are being alarmed needlessly

 The U.S. Attorney could resolve this issue once and for all. In fairness to Johnson, Fargo, and the voters he should.

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About The Swarm

The Swarm is written by members of The Sacramento Bee's editorial board. They meet daily and are separate from the newsroom. Views included here are those of individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect those of a majority of the board or the positions expressed in The Bee's editorials.

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