Sunday, October 16, 2005

Criminal charges in the Armstrong Williams case?

I missed this one Friday. It appears that criminal charges might be handed down in the Armstrong Williams case. The Inspector General of the Education Department thought the case was serious enough to hand it over to the US Attorney's office.

Williams, of course, was paid to promote Bush's No Child Left Behind Act without disclosing that he was paid to do so. That's illegal.

But it looks now like Armstrong didn't even do the work he was paid for. In a time when education budgets are increasingly tight, any waste is unforgivable. And this is the worst kind of waste.

So will there be criminal charges filed?

Now the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia is investigating whether Williams accepted public money without performing his required duties, said Dan Katz, chief counsel for Lautenberg. The attorney's office has a range of potential remedies, from suing to recover the money to possible criminal charges, Katz said.

"The inspector general wouldn't refer this to the U.S. attorney unless there was evidence of misconduct that requires further investigating," Katz said.

Hard to tell from the article, but let's keep our fingers crossed. A clear example needs to be set that any waste of taxpayer dollars especially for propaganda, is unacceptable and punishable by law.


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