On Monday, in an exclusive report by Reuters, it seems that a Justice Department fund for providing grants to anti-human trafficking is now the subject of a whistleblower complaint.
According to the report:
‘The awarding of more than $1 million total to the two groups, Hookers for Jesus in Nevada and the Lincoln Tubman Foundation in South Carolina, has triggered a whistleblower complaint filed by the Justice Department’s employee union to the department’s Inspector General.
‘An internal department memo seen by Reuters shows that as of September 12, two long-established nonprofits – the Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Palm Beach and Chicanos Por La Causa of Phoenix – were originally on the list of recommended grant winners after receiving high marks from outside contractors hired to review applications. The annual grants help nonprofits and local governments aid human trafficking victims.
‘Later that month, those two organizations were replaced as recommended recipients by Hookers for Jesus and the Lincoln Tubman Foundation, which both received lower rankings from the outside reviewers. The reason, a September 23 memo says, was an effort to “distribute funding across as many states as possible.”’
‘The change was ultimately approved by Katharine Sullivan, head of the Office of Justice Programs, OJP, which awards the grants. Sullivan defended the process as proper. “Our funding decisions are based on a merit-based review system,” she said.’
This past December, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees local 2830 filed a complaint calling on investigators to determine if politics may have played a part in the two grant awards.
A spokesperson for the inspector general’s office refused to comment, but in a statement, union president Marilyn Moses said “the grants call into question the department’s mission to serve the public.”
‘Our employees take their … responsibility to the taxpayer very seriously.’
Another report pointed out that “both groups” that were turned down “have ties to political causes seen as opposed to the Trump administration: Chicanos Por La Causa has vocally opposed the administration’s immigration policies, and an official with Catholic Charities has previously stood as a Democratic convention delegate, per the news service.”
Funny how that works!
“Our funding decisions are based on a merit-based review system,” Sullivan said, adding that the allegations against Hookers for Jesus were described as “inappropriate.”
‘This might be something that may be appropriate for our civil rights department to look at. Those are not facts or things that we would know ahead of time.’
Featured image via screenshot.