Considering the fraud throughout the presidency, it should come as no surprise a 2009 DC inaugural ball was funded through similar scheme. The ideological Democrats couldn’t raise money via donations, so they stole taxpayer money from a children’s fund to pay for a lavish black tie affair….
WASHINGTON—Neil S. Rodgers, a former District of Columbia government official, was sentenced today to a period of incarceration and ordered to pay full restitution on a charge stemming from his role in channeling $110,000 in youth and drug prevention grant funds that were used to pay for an inaugural ball.
[…] According to the government’s evidence, Rodgers aided [Harry] Thomas in illegally securing funds for the 51st State Inaugural Ball, held on Jan. 20, 2009, at the Wilson Building.
“Neil Rodgers worked with former D.C. Council member Harry Thomas to perpetrate a fraud that diverted money from at-risk children to throw a black-tie ball for adults,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Cohen. “His conviction at trial brings to seven the number of people convicted as part of Harry Thomas’s chronic abuse of the public trust.”
“Neil Rodgers refused to acknowledge that there was anything wrong in the cavalier way that he and Harry Thomas stole from a program for children. He now will be required to pay back every penny he stole from the children of the District. Those children, who were most harmed by this, deserve better from our public officials.”
“Today, Mr. Rodgers accepted his penalty for illegally steering money meant to fund District of Columbia government programs to pay for a Presidential inauguration party,” said Assistant Director in Charge McCabe. “The FBI and our partners at the IRS have worked countless hours to investigate the trail of money that was intended to help youth in the District and how the corrupt actions of a public servant resulted in a loss to the community he served.”
Thomas directed one of his staffers to plan the ball to celebrate the inauguration of President Obama. The 51st State Inaugural Ball was sponsored by Thomas, other council members and a local chapter of a political organization which was run by Thomas’s staffer who planned the ball. Ticket sales and other contributions failed to raise enough money to pay the expenses associated with the ball. Following the ball, the vendors who provided services for the ball were owed approximately $100,000.
Thomas asked Rodgers to help find funding for the money owed to the vendors. Thomas and Rodgers participated in a scheme to take money that was originally donated by D.C. taxpayers to the Children at Risk and Drug Prevention Fund to pay for the inaugural ball. (read more)