Judicial Watch • Alaska Mayor Convicted For Stealing Federal Grants

Alaska Mayor Convicted For Stealing Federal Grants

Alaska Mayor Convicted For Stealing Federal Grants

FEBRUARY 13, 2008

The mayor of Alaska’s second largest city has been convicted for using nearly half a million dollars in government grants intended for low-income youths to cover personal bills, purchase a plasma television set and to pay for a costly family wedding reception.

A federal jury found Fairbanks Mayor Jim Hayes guilty of conspiracy, theft, fraud, misapplication of federal funds, money laundering and filing false tax returns for stealing $450,000 worth of federal earmarks intended for a social services tutoring and mentoring center operated by his wife.

The money was part of $2.9 million steered by Alaska Republican Senator Ted Stevens to the social services center through congressional earmarks. Considered Alaska’s most powerful political figure, Stevens is at the center of a widespread corruption probe involving several bribed legislators and his home was raided by federal agents last summer.

Some of his earmark dollars were also used by Hayes for construction of a church, founded by his wife’s parents, where the Fairbanks mayor is pastor. The most despicable part is that the taxpayer funds were taken from poverty-stricken youths that Hayes took a special interest in as a black lawmaker seeking to help his ailing community.

The tax-exempt mentoring and tutoring facility, opened in 2000, is called the LOVE social services center and its mission is to help poor youths stay out of trouble and excel academically.

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