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Catholic Organization Suspends ACORN

CCHD Ends Funding To ACORN Over Financial Irregularities

The following news article was printed in Thursday’s (October 23, 2008) Southern Cross, which is the official newspaper of the Diocese of Savannah Georgia.

CCHD Ends Funding To ACORN Over Financial IrregularitiesWashington (CNS)

The Catholic Campaign for Human Development suspended funding a nationwide community organizing group after it was disclosed June 2 that nearly $1 million had been embezzled. Funding was suspended for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, popularly known as ACORN, because of the financial irregularities, said Ralph McCloud, executive director of CCHD, the U.S. bishop’s domestic anti-poverty and social justic program. “We’re not funding them at any level,” McCloud told Catholic News Service October 15. The suspension covers all 40 ACORN affiliates nationwide that had been approved for $1.13 million in grants for the funding cycle that started July 1, 2008. McCloud said the suspension came soon after his office learned that ACORN disclosed that Dale Rathke, the brother of ACORN founder Wade Rathke, had embezzled nearly $1 million from the organization and its affiliates in 1999 and 2000. Dale Rathke stepped down from his position with the organization in June when the matter became public; no charges were filed against him. Wade Rathke stepped down as the group’s lead organizer at the same time but remains chief organizer for ACORN International LLC. CCHD has hired specialists in forensic accounting to investigate whether any of its grant funding has been misappropriated, McCloud added.

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