September 16th, 2009
04:47 PM ET
5 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. LacrosseMom(stuck in moderation)

    No one has kept this story a secret, its been out for a week or two. My question is what was the motive behind this man video taping unsuspecting people? And secondly, what was EDITED???

    This whole thing SMELLS.

    PS. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops have given ACORN, $700, 000 over the years.

    September 16, 2009 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  2. stan

    fox news is a joke,that woman made fox news look like idiots when she said she killed her hubby,this just shows how desperate fox is to destroying acorn,but acorn is making them look like idiots,acorn knows what fox news is up too,thats why that woman played along with their game,she made them look like fools,so i say good for her,but everyone knows why the republicans wants acorn to fail,because its simple acorn have registerd millions of voters over the years,in the gop wants that to end,the gop dont care about housing for the poor,if acorn wasnt registering poor people the republicans or fox news wouldnot even giva damm about acorn,so lets be real people,this is about acorn registering poor people to vote.

    September 16, 2009 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  3. Dale

    Training? The only training ACRON will give is how to be corrupt without getting caught and exposed for who they really are, a group led by greedy arrogant people bent on power and control.

    September 16, 2009 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  4. LacrosseMom(stuck in moderation)

    Faux News sponsored O'Keefe????????????????????????????????

    No wonder this whole thing......... smells.

    There are crooks in every organization, EVEN, the Roman Catholic Church! Okay?!

    No organization is perfect. ACORN is being targeted because the GOP can not stand this group.

    September 16, 2009 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  5. donnabelle

    ACORN needs to be thoroughly investigated, all federal funding stopped and not be able to apply for future funding. Where is the IRS. I have been a tax professional for many years and have represented people being audited before the IRS. They (the IRS) chase after the small businessperson just trying to make a living , yet they let this group get away with fraud and abuse and who knows what else. Let's see the IRS do a audit of ACORN's financial records and do it NOW!

    September 16, 2009 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  6. Barb

    Why the tie in with ACORN and just the Democrats and President Obama..????.. This project was also funded and supported by the REPUBLICANS!!! How about getting our outrage right!

    September 16, 2009 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  7. oh_dem

    its about time, CNN. you and the other major media outlets are about 7 days behind on this story. No wonder that FOX has higher ratings – even I know that if I want the REAL news, i watch FOX and wade through the BS

    September 16, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  8. S Callahana NYS

    If I recall correctly, 1994 Housing (HUD) was having huge issues (remember the affair) and lots of nepotism going on....I wonder how this agency started, by whom. The financer of this agnecy was primarly HUD (the bigger bucks that is). So with them facing a possible legal issue/investigation which may or may not shut them down my question is ...what happens to the individuals who have their housing on voucher through them or their education/training provided by them???

    September 16, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  9. oh_dem

    oh and who was ACORNS big-shot lawyer for years? hehe...

    (psst...it was obama)

    September 16, 2009 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  10. Darth Vadik, CA

    This is just a fake story put out there by ACORN to let the conservatives drop their guard.

    Don't be fooled conservatives, ACORN is coming for your women, your children, your guns and they will make you swear an oath to be a life time Communist party member.

    Quick, hide, hide before they get you.

    September 16, 2009 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  11. Obama Victim II

    I had to re-check the website to make sure this was CNN!!

    I guess after 10+ days of videos and Congress cutting off funding, you guys HAD To report something!?

    September 16, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  12. Mark

    The 9/12 Project protest was about more than taxes. It was about ending coruption like ACORN, socialism, congressmen and senators who no longer represent the will of the people, Etc. I was there to witness the 1.2 million who are fed up with all of it! ACORN and Van Jones are just the start of cleaning house. If you are smart, CNN, you will follow the stories as they unfold.

    September 16, 2009 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  13. Jeanne

    I just hope they pull funding and investigate/audit the almost 300 organizations associated with ACORN out of their New Orleans headquarters. By the way, it's the office for ACORN and the SEIU (Service Employee International Union) share. Are they one and the same?

    Some how this isn't mentioned in the stories!

    September 16, 2009 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  14. TexasAnnie *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

    I'm basically a Democrat (probably more moderate than liberal) and I think ACORN has reached that Strike Three status and needs to be put O-U-T. They are an out of control organization with no accountability and no chain of command. It's time to shut off any & all public funding to them.

    September 16, 2009 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  15. Kate in San Diego

    It is really kind of sad. I have worked with ACORN on numerous community projects. The issue stems from the fact they work with problematic people. They hire ex cons, people just coming off welfare, and others with difficulties. it is a huge part of what they do. The organization is big and loosely organized. I can just see people smacking their lips with glee over being able to use this somethow against the POTUS, but it really isn't fair. ACORN over the years has done great work. They need to clean their house at this point, but let's not throw the baby out with the bath water!

    September 16, 2009 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  16. Dan

    acorn= A Crime Organization Runs Nowhere!?

    September 16, 2009 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  17. Stop all funding to ACORN....

    and the 300 organizations associated with them.....they are clearly corrupt and exist only to pay unearned salaries to ACORN executives and employees.....

    September 16, 2009 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  18. Shannon

    This organization has become to big and to corrupt to continue. I don't want any more of my tax dollars to go to organizations like this. People here who blame the people who exposed just how dirty this organizaiton are part of the problem.

    September 16, 2009 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  19. DaBird

    EVERY person in this country should demand an investigation into child prostitutes and tax fraud. If you find yourself still thinking ACORN is a good organization, then you are dishonest and NOT an American.

    September 16, 2009 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  20. New Yorker

    What a joke; this organization should be shut down.

    September 16, 2009 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  21. makesUwonder

    Hiring freeze my butt...........the entire corrupt place should be closed down and never be allowed to reopen. AND.........

    Dick Durbin (D-IL)
    Roland Burris (D-IL)
    Robert Casey (D-PA)
    Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
    Patrick Leahy (K-VT)
    Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)

    Should all be voted out for voting yes to continue funding for ACORN!
    ACORN among many things has no problem with young girls selling themselves for money. DISGUSTING THE HARD WORKING TAX PAYER HAS THEIR MONEY GOING TO THIS CORRUPTION.

    September 16, 2009 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  22. David from WI

    The federal govt needs to do a full investigation and audit of all ACORN funds and subsidiary organizations.

    They only harm those they claim to help if corrupt.

    Now 'that' will take some courage Mr Holder.

    September 16, 2009 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  23. David

    ACORN = Obama's Halliburton.

    September 16, 2009 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  24. rin

    i am just trying to figure out why the acorn story so big to republicans?

    September 16, 2009 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  25. Sue, WY

    It's too late. They should have trained their people better. While I do think that the people on the video are at the bottom of the totem pole, they are still responsible for representing the organization.

    ACORN should not be responsible for our census, period. If the govermnent really cares about counting people, they should hire others to do it.

    Having said that, ACORN is in no way linked to President Obama. He is a great man, and a great American. He tries to do the right thing, and it would be benificial to ACORN if they followed in his footsteps.

    September 16, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
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