Monday, July 12, 2004

It's not my intention to make this "beat on a cop" week, but you have to wonder what gives with correction cops. Last week we covered the four CDC officers that were fired for being SNOOP DOGG'S hired guns. Now a CYA officer will probably go to jail for scamming the US Department of Housing and Urban Development's "OFFICER NEXT DOOR" program.

Under this program, HUD would provide a 50% discount on a house to any law enforcement officer who moved into a low-income and/or high-crime neighborhood. The catch was the officer had to live in the house for at least three years before he could sell it or rent it. The goal was to put LE residents in these hoods and hopefully provide some sort of stability or security or set some kind of role model. Frankly, at the time this program was announced, it sounded like another government pie-in-the-sky social engineering experiment. The kind that usually crash and burn because nobody considers the unintended consequences.

On July 8th, CYA officer James Derrick Stewart, a Corona resident, took a guilty plea to submitting false documents to HUD about the house he bought at $50,000 off the asking price. Nice discount. It seems he never lived in the house. He rented it out.

Stewart agreed to pay pack the money but he could still face 5 years in prison. This is a federal beef and if he does the time it'll be in Lompoc.

This post is not to beat up on cops but to illustrate the point that government programs, no matter how well-intended, need to be made crook-proof. I've read that a full third of medical welfare money in California is lost to fraud. That's billions of dollars in the pockets of crooked doctors and scam artists.

The US Attorney caught this one cop in this one program. But there are thousands of programs with tens of thousands of recipients. Did you ever wonder why no matter how much they raise in taxes it never seems enough? Now you know.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The majority of California's aprox. 30,000. Correctional Officers are dedicated law enforcement professionals. Your always going to find a few boob's in every department that reflect badly on the profession. Unfourtunatly for us the only view the public gets of C.O.'s come from Inmates,Their attorneys,radical activist's,opertunistic politictions and a scandal hungry biased media,who are only too happy to be manipulated by the con's and their allies.