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Tag: tax dollars

State Senator in Michigan Accused of Misusing Payroll Funds As FBI Investigates

Michigan Sen. Bert Johnson

Michigan Sen. Bert Johnson

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Federal authorities who raided the home and office of Michigan Sen. Bert Johnson are investigating claims that the state lawmaker misused Senate funds to pay an employee who never worked for him, the Detroit Free Press reports. 

Johnson has claimed that he has no idea why he is being investigated.

The FBI and Michigan State Police raided his Highland Park home and Lansing office.

“We’re going to figure it out. I’m hiring counsel,” Johnson, D-Highland Park, said outside the Senate chamber Tuesday. “I’m disappointed. I had a raid in my house. I’m very concerned for my family, for my mother, my children.”

Johnson has a spotty record, the Free Press wrote.

Johnson, 43, has a felony record for armed robbery from a conviction when he was 19. His record was widely known when he won seats in both the state House and Senate. He has had financial difficulties, as well. In 2015, a bench warrant was issued for his arrest after he failed to appear in an Illinois court in a civil lawsuit over an unpaid debt to a political consulting firm.

Johnson was sued by Chicago-based Paladian Political Group, which said he owed $21,983.37. The issue was resolved without Johnson being arrested.

He said Tuesday he doesn’t know whether his financial problems played a role in the investigation.

“That’s one of the things we’re talking over. We’ve got to figure out what it is they’re looking for,” he said. “But you know, I’m an open book. I have no problem working with anyone. I’ve worked very hard to build a reputation I think people trust.”

Inspector General Report: FBI’s Half-Billion-Dollar Computer System Is Rife with Problems

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI spent a half-billion-dollars on a Sentinel computerized file system, but the system is rife with problems, Newsweek reports.

Officials insisted the Sentinel would be completed by the end of 2009 for $425 million. But a report by the Justice Department Inspector General found mismanagement, cost overruns and technical problems that have raised the price by another $100 million, Newsweek wrote.

Sentinel replaced the bureau’s antiquated Automatic Case Support System, known as ACS.

Despite the problems, the Inspector General report found that a majority of FBI employees surveyed agreed that “Sentinel has had an overall positive impact on the FBI’s operations, making the FBI better able to carry out its mission, and better able to share information.”

Still, the report found many problems.

The FBI, for example, said the system’s search function was working properly.

“Yet we found that only 42 percent of the respondents to our survey who used Sentinel’s search functionality often received the results they needed,” the IG reported

Homeland Security Inspector General Is Accused of Mismanagement, Nepotism

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The acting inspector general of Homeland Security is accused of mismanagement and nepotism, the New York Post reports.

Documents obtained by the Post show that Charles Edwards took at least four jaunts on the taxpayers’ dime and employed his wife.

Never mind that Edwards’ job is to protect the agency from violating rules and laws.

At least four of the trips involved travels to Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, where Edwards was attending a computer information-sciences degree at Nova Southeastern University, according to the Post.

“If those allegations turn out to be true, then this deputy inspector general is violating his role as a public servant who is being paid on the taxpayer dime,” said Mary Beth Hutchins, of the group Cause of Action.