September 16th, 2009
04:47 PM ET
9 years ago

ACORN announces hiring freeze, new training

In the videos, the individuals seek advice on setting up a brothel with underage women from El Salvador.

In the videos, the individuals seek advice on setting up a brothel with underage women from El Salvador.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The community organizing group ACORN Wednesday announced a hiring freeze, new training programs and an independent review of its programs following the recent release of a series of videotapes embarrassing to the agency.

The videos - secretly taped by two individuals posing as a pimp and prostitute –showed ACORN employees in four of the agency's offices suggesting or condoning a series of illicit actions as the couple sought advice on setting up a brothel with underage women from El Salvador.

"We have all been deeply disturbed by what we've seen in some of these videos," said ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis. "I must say on behalf of ACORN's Board and our Advisory Council that we will go to whatever lengths necessary to reestablish the public trust."

The steps announced include an immediate halt in hiring for all ACORN offices, an immediate training program for all frontline staff, and selection of an independent auditor by the end of this week.

Full story

Filed under: ACORN
soundoff (121 Responses)
  1. Sam Sixpack

    Why on earth has this news been kept secret all this time? Was somebody hoping this news would somehow get better? Was somebody hoping to wait until after the fake health care "reform" was passed before the story broke?

    September 16, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  2. iamsparkling@twitter

    this won't hurt them a bit. they're getting more $$ than they ever had before just from publicity & ties in high places. they no longer need the government.

    September 16, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  3. Tate

    What a joke, glad you finally had the story CNN. Another knock out job of reporting. Why do you guys get paid again, please let Charlie Gibson no, because either he is the biggest idiot or the worst reporter in history. A little of both I assume. Do you wonder why your ratings are falling off the cliff, you stiff half the country and they are the ones with jobs and money. Brilliant

    September 16, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  4. Henry

    Acorn....Stupid R. send some so called spys, Too make Acorn look bad. Now in my eyes these spys have been trying to bring them down since the BEGGINING OF THIS YEAR!...Now hear me out if you send some people too 200 Pizza Huts & ask the person be...hind the counter for Drugs I bet, I BET you would get at least one person to give or get you some...Now thats what these people did FOR the Republicans went too about 720 Acorn employees I bet this secret VIDEO took them months apon MONTHS to get...I would be any job no matter how BIG or HIGH up it is you would find a rotten egg "Bad employee" at least one!!..................My point right HERE!!! Maybe if these STUPID Republicans had put as much effort in trying to bring down the DEMS & Obama & trying to Attain this VIDEO....Just maybe we would have gone somewhere!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GRRR They need to get a LIFE.....OBAMA IS PRESIDENT & YOU DONT HAVE CONTROL ANYMORE FACE IT!!!

    September 16, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  5. Steph

    I'm quite sick of hearing about ACORN. They just aren't that important. A few bad employees (now ex-employees) doesn't a conspiracy make.

    September 16, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  6. Rick in OP

    Congatulations on finally picking up this story.

    September 16, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  7. TangledThorns

    Why hasn't the Justice Department investigated these criminals yet? Oh wai...

    September 16, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  8. V in Chicago

    It would be very interesting to find out who was behind the making of those videos. It just seems almost too scripted to be just a "gotcha". CNN – why don't you investigate this part?

    September 16, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  9. Willy Brown

    A leopard can’t change its spots. Why do we allow congress to fund these clowns? Is it payback for manufactured votes?

    September 16, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  10. Heather from Beautiful Seattle

    This is very unfortunate. ACORN has done some wonderful things to help communities across the country. However, now that they have been caught in these videos and voter scams, it will erase most of the good they have done. ACORN itself may not condone what these employees got caught doing on tape but they are responsible for their employees.

    September 16, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  11. MatthewDetroit


    Oh I thought they said the tape was doctored and a lie.....

    Clearly the community organization that was given 500 million in the stimulus plan is an illegal operating entity of the left wing democrats.

    They are a bunch of lying, crooked, criminals.
    They registered thousands and thousands of illegal voters...
    They are crooks and supported by the president who is a crook.

    September 16, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  12. James-STL

    WOW CNN–

    An ACCORN Story on the ticker...It only took you a week. No wonder FOX NEWS is destroying you in the ratings.

    September 16, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  13. Chuck, Tennessee

    Darn they were going to create many of the new jobs that Obama promised!

    September 16, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  14. enough already

    "Fortunately, ACORN derives most of its income from its members and other supporters, so the decision will have little impact on overall operations," Lewis said.

    Terrific! Then ACORN won't mind if the government immediately cuts off all funding for this inherently corrupt organization. I'm sure the DNC will make up the difference.

    September 16, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  15. Joshua

    We have said for at least a year ACORN is a criminal organization and now it seems everyone else is seeing it also. It is unbelievable that ACORN has and continues to receive Federal funds. Any representatives that support ACORN are goiing to be challenged.

    September 16, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  16. Navy Vet

    Unfortunately, with as much corruption and total lack of integrity that so many of their workers have, they should do more than have a hiring freeze.

    They should start firing everyone from the head on down. They've gone from the Nations largest communty organization of low and moderate income families to the nations largest community organization of crooks.

    This is one Dem that thinks they should scrap it and start from scratch with people with integrity and follow the law.

    September 16, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  17. MatthewDetroit


    ACORN should be busted up and ALL goverment money stripped.

    September 16, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  18. G2

    This organization is soooo corrupt, they should shut it down and stop giving it our tax dollars. We need a full investigation by the Justice Dept into their activities and a full audit of their books and finances. There is more scandal to come.

    Those 7 senators who voted to continue funding of ACORN (Burris, Casey et al) should all be voted out of office. They are a disgrace!

    September 16, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  19. Mic

    Oh, Please do you want your tax dollors being spent on these people.

    September 16, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  20. marissa

    I'm glad ACORN is taking internal steps however that should not excuse ACORN from government investigation. They recieve federal funding therefore they should not be advising people on how to cheat the government on their tax forms. That combined with the voter registration fraud should exclude ACORN from any more federal funding. If they are to remain functioning they should function as a seperate entity.

    September 16, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  21. Mike in MN

    They'll train them better on how to not get caught.

    September 16, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  22. N

    It is only right, if there is any ties to tax payers money going to this firm, that there be a full Federal Investigation to include an audit of all of their works. We the People cannot stand by and let fraud happend when our tax dollars are involved.

    September 16, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  23. b franklin

    Well, well, well....Welcome to the party CNN!! This thing has been out there for over a week, but you couldn't print anything negative about your buddies at ACORN now could least not until several more of the instances came to light. Both CNN and ACORN are nothing but hand-maidens to the Democratic Party.
    This is yet another reason that Fox News consistently gets higher ratings.
    Next time act like a news organization and actually report the news. Don't just select the stories negative to conservatives. You've been all over the Sanford story, nearly every day printing something that is of little news value, but this ACORN thing, with countless law violations....

    September 16, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  24. Kathy S. Cloughn

    Don't throw out the baby with the bath water. Do a thorough audit, throw out the scoundrels and let the good people help provide the services only they can provide.

    September 16, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  25. Alan

    As it should be.

    And, no, GOP loonies - I'm sorry but Obama doesn't run things over there any more than he can run his past pastor.

    Yes - it sounds like continued support for this organization is a waste of time. They can't get it together, let alone keep it together.

    Is it a reflection on Obama?


    September 16, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
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