SEPTEMBER 01, 2011
The city that let a councilman blow $300,000 in youth sports funds on personal travel and a luxury sports utility vehicle has spent federal AIDS prevention money on a strip club.It gets better. The AIDS money—around $330,000—that helped transform a rundown warehouse into a nude bar went to a nonprofit operated by a self-described drug kingpin (Cornell Jones) with felony convictions. The group (Miracle Hands) was supposed to make the facility a job training center for residents with HIV and AIDS.Only in the District of Columbia is this sort of outrageous corruption so commonly seen. D.C.’s perpetually crooked government has made national headlines over the years but this seems to be the icing on the cake. City officials actually passed along federal tax dollars to a shady character that turned around and used it to build a profitable business for himself. In this case an upscale “gentlemen’s club” with “five-star dining” and lots of nude dancers.Here’s another interesting tidbit; when the director (Debra Rowe) of D.C.’s HIV/AIDS administration, which distributes Uncle Sam’s generous contributions to local groups, got fired after a probe revealed funds were misspent she became an executive director at Miracle Hands. That’s because she’s tight with the “reformed” drug lord who has benefitted from her generous allocations.Incredibly, no one is being criminally charged in this brazen scheme. This information came to light because D.C.’s attorney general filed a civil suit this week against Jones in an effort to recover some of the lost money. The attorney general only acted because a shameful newspaper series (The Squandering of D.C.’s AIDS Dollars) exposed the widespread corruption in D.C.’s AIDS programs.In the meantime, the feds keep showering the District with lots of cash to combat AIDS because it has the nation’s highest infection rate. To tackle the crisis, a few months ago D.C. launched a web site that matches condoms to personalities in seven different languages. The innovative “Rubber Revolution” offers free latex, flavored or magnum condoms and a “condom university” with detailed instructions for the novice user.
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