Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Chair on Johnson and "The Absence of Integrity"

Rep. Donald Payne, a Democrat from New Jersey, is the chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation -- which, as you're well aware by now, is where Eddie Bernice Johnson found the $25,000 she gave in scholarships to relatives and her top aide's kids. And Payne's so livid over the whole sordid mess that late yesterday he released a rather lengthy statement -- which has been excerpted from The Dallas Morning News to The New York Times -- in which he let Johnson have it ... without ever mentioning her by name. An excerpt:

I will not allow the absence of integrity to invade the Foundation nor the scholarship program, of which we are proud and stand on our record of helping to educate thousands of African- American students across this nation. We are at a place and time that the process must be reviewed, upgraded, and evaluated to ensure added integrity through improved processes, increased scrutiny and certification.

Going forward, the Foundation will immediately begin to identify CBCF scholarship programs exhibiting best practices that require additional levels of certification. We have also delayed the launch of the upcoming scholarship program four months, to ensure all new measures are in place prior to the distribution of applications. There will be no self-dealing or nepotism in the awarding of college scholarships. I am confident that this audit and the resulting new processes will ensure added integrity in the scholarship program.

Johnson released her own statement yesterday. Let's skip down to the last graph:

At present, I am home convalescing from major surgery. However, I am diligently working to resolve these issues as they are very important to me.

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