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Press Release Published: Oct 30, 2009

Issa, Chaffetz Call for Committee Probe of D.C. AIDS Program Abuses

WASHINGTON, DC – Oversight and Government Reform Committee Ranking Member Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Federal Workforce, Postal Service, and the District of Columbia Subcommittee Ranking Member Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) today called for the Oversight Committee to launch an investigation into abuses of taxpayer dollars in District of Columbia programs intended to help AIDS patients.

“Because of a lack of oversight, instead of the sickest and poorest getting the care they need, funds have flowed into the pockets of criminals,” Issa and Chaffetz wrote to their Majority counterparts on the Oversight Committee Chairman Edolphus Towns and Chairman Stephen Lynch.  “As the District’s AIDS epidemic is a public health crisis, affecting not only those living with the disease, but the entire community, we hope that this Committee will confront the funding and management issues to ensure that D.C. residents are able to receive the services they need and that tax dollars are not squandered.”

Issa and Chaffetz are prepared to move forward with an investigation that will assess the credibility of efforts to revamp problems at the District of Columbia Department of Health’s HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD, and TB Administration (HAHSTA), identify those responsible for mismanagement and abuses, and report on efforts to hold those responsible accountable for their failure.

“An investigation by Congress is necessary to determine that city officials, who allowed abuses to take place for years under their watch, are making credible efforts to fix the problem and holding those responsible accountable.  This while saddest aspect of this episode is the damage inflicted on some of society’s most vulnerable members, the American people should also be outraged that such abuses in our nation’s capital were supported by federal funds.”

“With the highest rate of AIDS cases in the nation, the District of Columbia cannot afford to have a penny of its HAHSTA funds wasted through fraud and abuse,” said Rep. Chaffetz. “It is imperative that Congress not only investigates the problem, but also establishes the oversight framework necessary to prevent the future squandering of these precious funds.”

Click here to read the letter from Reps. Issa and Chaffetz to Reps. Edolphus Towns and Stephen Lynch

Click here to read the letter from Delegate Holmes-Norton’s letter to Reps. Edolphus Towns and Stephen Lynch

Click here to read the response from Reps. Issa and Chaffetz to Delegate Holmes-Norton and Reps. Edolphus Towns and Stephen Lynch