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. Paul from Phoenix

    I am so happy that my tax dollars are funding this group. Also, thank you CNN for reporting this....finally. This group is a bunch of crooks. People talk about election fraud with the GOP, but nobody talks about this group.

    I hope everyone got to read about the arrogance of Charlie Gibson, who on his own decided this news wasn't worth his time.

    Unbiased journalism at its finest.

    September 16, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  2. Red by choice

    This story has been going for over a week and finally CNN shows up. MSNBC has yet to acknowledge ACORN's problems.

    Considering the 15+ voter fraud actions and the four videos, ACORN should be shut down, its books audited and its leadership be put in prison. Was that a racist thing to say?

    These jerks should never get another penny of government support. But will they? Yea, probably. Let the dust settle and the liberals will once again start feeding this beast and all its really ignorant empolyees. Was that racist as well?

    September 16, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  3. Terry, TX

    "Reestablish the public trust".....nah....Independent prosecutor is needed ...this organization....needs to loose all taxpayer money for life...they are eligible for 8 BILLION dollars from the stimulus bill.....needs to return money they have received.....needs to have their tax exempt status for life removed. might want to ask the 7 senators why they voted for ACORN to not be's their names ....send reporters over to the Senate to talk to the following....Burris (D-IL).... Casey (D-PA) ....Durbin (D-IL) ......Gillibrand (D-NY) .....Leahy (D-VT) ....Sanders (I-VT) ........Whitehouse (D-RI)......we got some really creepy in office.....

    September 16, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  4. Loup Garou 782

    It is nothing short of amazing that employees in four different offices, in four different cities, in four different states, allwere giving this couple the same type advice and yet ACORN wants to claim they were not trained to do that. That is what community advisers are trained to do, chesk with barack obama , he is the self proclaimed world champion at just what these people were doing.

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

    Newflash commenters, ACORN is not a democratic organization and has been supported and employed by GOP candidates as well. Will you now finally stop wailing about it?

    September 16, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  6. Steve, Columbia SC

    This organization needs to be put out of business...........

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

    ACORN Should File A Lawsuit Against Those 2 Undercover "Despicable Clowns!" Who Came Onto Their Premises And Illegal Videotaped And Disguised Themselves. I Don't In No Way Shape Or Form Support Any Activity Carried On In Those Videos. I Hope That Those Who Engaged In Those Activities Get Fired!

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

    Time to cut off all government funds to this corrupt organization. You don't need training to know that it is WRONG to counsel people how to run a prostitution ring and call it "performing arts". ACORN is corrupt and our tax dollars should NOT be supporting anything to do with it.

    September 16, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    Something tells me that the rabid GOPers on this site and elsewhere might end up regretting an investigation that will, in all likelihood, include investigation into the two so-called "journalists" who shopped around for an ACORN employee dumb enough to fall for their ruse. I know I'm dying to find out what's under that GOPers really want to stay giddy about it? Go ahead. I'll keep th etissues handy for when I get to tell you "I told you so."

    September 16, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  10. Proud Member..Party of No

    These are Obama's community organizer friends and this is an organization that Obama has very close ties to and it is an organization that is receiving billions of our taxpayer money. Oh, and Obama also has very close ties to Bill Ayers, Bernadine Dorn, Jeremiah Wright, Tony Rezko and Van Jones. Does any of this ever sink in to democrats?? This is a hugely corrupt administration.

    September 16, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  11. Bill R in Oakland

    I'm not defending ACORN but where was the public outcry over the tax-payer funded no-bid contracts in the Iraq reconstruction effort where billions of dollars disappeared?

    September 16, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  12. ketrout

    I believe that ACORN should be shut down by the government and finally start hanging those that are so corrupt that they are doing whatever they want.

    We must also remember that Obama did have ties to them and that they helped get him elected. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?

    Great work CNN! Keep it up and expose such corruption that is going on right before our eyes!

    September 16, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  13. malclave

    Clearly, ACORN needs to improve its training on how to identify fakes, so they only provide assistance to REAL pimps and hookers looking to start underage Latin American sex slave rings.

    Your tax dollars at work. Kinda gives a new meaning to "stimulus package", doesn't it?

    September 16, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  14. Dean

    I am amazed at the liberal comments in here defending ACORN and denying the Obama connection to them.

    September 16, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  15. Felonious Monk

    The silly thing is:
    Only an idiot would not realize they were being set up.
    It's all a con.

    September 16, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  16. Bluebonnet

    These crooks and thieves have been allowed to operate, WITH TAXPAYERS' MONEY. What I find appalling is the fact that they are mainly a democrat outlet, no one seems interested in pursuing this. A full investigation is totally warranted!!!

    September 16, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  17. Christian Values

    Well, I can't condone ACORN myself. They should be terminated completely.

    One thing is for sure though, the most corrupt thing ACORN has ever done is small compared to the massive crimes of hate and treason committed by conservative and republican special interest groups.

    September 16, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  18. inofritzn

    STOP giving these scum OUR money!!!! It's DISGUSTING what acorn really does and what they say they do

    September 16, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  19. Lila

    By doing this, ACORN is doing the right thing. Just as they did the right thing investigating workers who engaged in voter fraud to get a paycheck.

    Every organization has bad apples in it, and the best you can hope is the organization will deal with those few bad apples accordingly. (God how I wish Fox News would do the same)

    But you can't run around proclaiming that ACORN is the right hand of Obama, and that there is some vast conspiracy to take over the's completely unfounded and ridiculous!!!

    September 16, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  20. Jimmy

    Well it's about time CNN ran some sort of story on this. This is bigger News than Joe Wilson and yet it took this long. Let's have 7-8 stories on ACORN.

    September 16, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  21. Mark

    I watch Fox News so that I get the story a week ahead of time. CNN's bias news reporting will be their ratings death as Fox News continues to crush them!

    September 16, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  22. 4 Palin

    Well, CNN have you just now realized what everyone else knows about ACORN. It is so obvious that you want to get into the story, but you wait until you think that ACORN is trying to fix some of its problems!! How does it feel to not have any journalists that are smart enough to do what these 2 young people had enough guts to do. Tell me what do you require of your reporters??? Should they not be out trying to "uncover" stories such as this??? Wht do you suppose that they took it to Fox News instead of you??

    September 16, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  23. Sniffit

    "ACORN should be busted up and ALL goverment money stripped."

    That would be interference in private industry.

    September 16, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  24. victim of republican greed

    This was a Fox entertainment exclusive, so it took a while to see if there was any merit to the story, as Fox is not a very reliable source of news. Now, it is time to investigate Blackwater(Xe) about their illegal activities

    September 16, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  25. Independent Thinker

    I am one who thinks that both the far left and the far right are so entrenched in their beliefs that it is hard to get anything accomplished, but I have, for the first time, become very concerned about the media. This story has been out for a week and all the major media, except FOX, have ignored it. No one has reported the census bureau cutting ACORN lose and the proposed investigations by the Congress. It makes one question whether the media is being controlled or whether most of the media reports only those things that are congruent with their own beliefs. In either case, it's just a bit scary...
    And yes, this organization needs to be investigated independently.

    September 16, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
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