Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, U.S. Representative from Dallas and former president of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), is caught up in a major ethical snafu. It would appear she played fast and loose with some CBC scholarship monies.
It was recently reported that the Congressional ethics panel is investigating Johnson's handling of the scholarship money as her own grandchildren and great-nephews are shown to be on the receiving end of the assistance. Thanks, Grandma!
Johnson went on a national cable talk show to proclaim her innocence. She mentioned that she thought the names of those young men sounded familiar. Really? She was only vaguely familiar with the names of her own grandchildren? Talk about a lame statement.
Then the incriminating evidence was stumbled upon by the Dallas newspaper.
There has been a reported letter by Johnson directing the CBC scholarship money to go directly to her grandsons and not to their chosen universities. Short and to the point: Please accept the enclosed scholarship checks for Preston Moore and Gregory Moore. If possible I would like for their checks to be made out to them instead of the University. It is reported in The Dallas Morning News after Johnson appeared on CNN and proclaimed her innocence in any wrongdoing.
From the Dallas Morning News: Relatives were not the only ineligible winners Dallas Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson picked for scholarships funded by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.
At least five other college students the Democrat chose since 2005 didn't live in her district or that of any other caucus member, as required by the nonprofit foundation.
None of the five had any apparent relation to Johnson, unlike her two grandsons, two great-nephews and two children of her top Dallas-based aide to whom she awarded at least 23 scholarships in the last five years.
The Dallas Morning News reviewed all of Johnson's selections in that period. The scholarships, from corporate and private donors, are intended for worthy students who live or go to college in the district of a black caucus member.
Johnson's list is full of scholar athletes and academic high achievers. But there is also a pattern of violations of eligibility requirements that extends beyond relatives.
Johnson is serving her ninth term in Congress. Sounds as though it is time for her to retire.