As with many government programs, the stated intentions were good: Help job seekers get the proper clothes to land a job. But as with many government programs, the stated intentions may not have had anything to do with what actually transpired. Here’s the key part of the story:
The audit, conducted by the city’s auditor general for the period from July 2009 to September 2011, found the department failed to control the operations and finances of a boutique that was to provide the clothes.
The department did not safeguard grant funds or create an inventory for the clothing, the audit found.
Among the most telling findings, which will be discussed today during a City Council committee meeting, is that a third-party contractor advanced $148,000 to a downtown Detroit clothing store and opened an account, but did not include the city on the account.
That’s corruption. Someone set this slush fund up to funnel cash to local businesses. An investigation will probably turn up connections between people within the Detroit government and the businesses that soaked up the money.
This was, by the way, stimulus money, just a tiny little piece of Obama’s trillion dollar slush fund. Even as it was stated to work, it was a joke and shouldn’t have gotten a dime of federal funds.
The center, at 1970 Larned, included the Customer Choice Pantry, the New Beginnings Clothing Boutique and a call center that had the capacity to service 60,000 families in need. The boutique was to provide business attire for low-income residents for job interviews.
To receive clothing, residents were required to have a job interview scheduled. According to the audit, the DHS was supposed to help 400 people between October 2010 and September 2011 but instead served only two.
Do the math. That’s over $27,000 per person. Were they supposed to get a Volt with each suit, or what?
There’s no way this was not corrupt from the beginning. And we were told that Sheriff Joe Biden would oversee how the stimulus was to be spent because, in the words of President Obama, nobody messes with Joe. Well, Detroit messed with Joe.