This week, the public service miscreants in Washington, D.C., who were so excited about Barack Obama being elected president of the United States that they decided to hold a ball for him, charge $51 for tickets and make up the difference by steering tax money meant to go to a fund for disadvantaged kids, were finally sentenced for fraud.
Neil S. Rodgers, a former D.C. government official, was sentenced Tuesday for his role in the misappropriation of $110,000 earmarked for D.C.’s Children at Risk and Drug Prevention Fund to cover a deficit for the 51st State Inaugural Ball for President Obama’s inauguration in 2009. Rodgers, found guilty of fraud in March, was sentenced to 36 days (served on weekends) plus two years of probation. Rodgers must also repay the entire $110,000 as restitution for his crime.
Just over a month and two years probation for stealing from a kids’ fund. Even if it was a white collar crime? That’s not much given that the end result was adults having fun at the expense of children who needed the help.
“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.” …
According to the records, the two called the ball some sort of youth event to get the private-public partnership organization controlling the funds to fork out $100,000 which was used to satisfy creditors. “The conspirators used “multiple copies of budgets and supporting narratives” to fool the organization into approving use of that fund to pay the remaining bills.”
The ball in question was held in the seat of Washington, D.C., government, a place not exactly known for freedom from corruption. Still isn’t given that officials were willing to take cash from youth programs in order to hold a big party.