Thursday, January 06, 2005

More trouble for Conyers:

FIA also wonders if turkeys aided poor
A spokeswoman for the Michigan Family Independence Agency said Wednesday that the FIA gave the names of 18 needy people to members of U.S. Rep. John Conyers' staff who reportedly were looking for people to receive free turkeys just before Thanksgiving.

But FIA officials don't know whether the people on their list received the turkeys, agency spokeswoman Maureen Sorbet said.

And the director of the Detroit food bank that donated the turkeys to Conyers' office Nov. 23 said he still has received no accounting from the Detroit Democrat's office about the 60 frozen birds two aides and a former staffer picked up.

"It's a start," said Agostinho Fernandes, executive director of the Gleaners Community Food Bank. Fernandes asked for the accounting last month on the turkey distribution after hearing from a friend that Conyers' staffers were offering free turkeys to employees at U.S. District Court in Detroit.

FIA won't release the list of 18 possible turkey recipients because much of the list contains confidential information, Sorbet said.

Conyers was already the target of an informal inquiry by the House Ethics Committee regarding use of his staff for political campaign work during office hours.

His press secretary, Karen Morgan, said this week that the congressional aides who signed for the Gleaners turkeys Nov. 23 had promised to send an accounting to the food bank by Dec. 27. As of Wednesday, Gleaners had received nothing, Fernandes said.

How hard is it? If you delivered the food to the poor people, as promised, then say so.

The only logical conclusion at this point is that they are hoping it goes away.

I won't.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

UPI va Washingotn Times

And they even mention this blog by name

Conyers office fowled up in turkeygate

Detroit, MI, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- The director of a Detroit charity is wondering about 60 turkeys it entrusted to the office of U.S. Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., for delivery to poor people.

The Gleaners Community Food Bank gave the 720 pounds of frozen birds to Conyers staff two days before Thanksgiving so they could pass them along to needy people, the Detroit Free Press reported Wednesday.

But the charity has yet to receive any confirmation that any turkey was delivered to a worthy recipient.

A Conyers aide who requested anonymity for fear of reprisal said staffer Elisa Grubbs and her cousin, Conyers' Detroit deputy chief of staff Marion Brown, along with a former Conyers aide, DeWayne Boyd, picked up the turkeys and later gave contradictory accounts of what happened to the gifts.

The unnamed staff member raised concerns in a memo sent to both the FBI and House Ethics Committee.

This isn't going away.

More Turkeygate Coverage

Wizbang beat me to the Turkeygate moniker.

Capt. Ed asks some very tough questions.

Brain Shavings declares it a blogswarm.

Cheese and Crackers [Have all the good blog names been taken? -ED] has contact info for the Congressman.


Hubs and Spokes says, "This story may turn out to be the gift that keeps on giving... "

It's growing...

Pejmanesque linked it.

Three Knockdown Rule linked it.

Glenn says that these stolen turkeys weren't plastic either.

Outsider The Beltway brings back memories: "As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly!!!"

Poliblogger notes that Conyers has a lot to say... Just not about Turkeygate.

Urban Republican has his say.

Bill Quick was quick but still worth reading.

Did Coners' Staff Steal Food From the Poor?

Detroit Free Press

Where did turkeys go?

Gleaners asks if Conyers' staff helped needy people

The director of a Detroit food bank wants to know what happened to 60 turkeys -- 720 pounds of frozen birds -- that his charity gave to members of U.S. Rep. John Conyers' local staff two days before Thanksgiving to give to needy people.

Conyers' Detroit office promised an accounting of any turkey distribution by Dec. 27, but the Gleaners Community Food Bank had received no paperwork as of Tuesday, said the charity's director, Agostinho Fernandes.

Fernandes said he became suspicious that the turkeys didn't get to poor people after hearing from a friend that a federal court worker had said he was offered free turkeys from a member of Conyers' staff.

Conyers' press secretary Karen Morgan said Tuesday that she was told that some of Conyers' staffers gave the turkeys to poor people whose names were provided by the state Family Independence Agency. A fax with those names, she said, was to be sent Tuesday or today to Gleaners.

Maureen Sorbet, a spokeswoman for the FIA, said Tuesday, "I spoke to the central FIA office in Wayne County, and they were unaware of the turkey situation.

"Normally, we don't provide names" of FIA clients, Sorbet added. "Sometimes at Christmastime we might if people self-disclose. It's remotely possible."

By mid-afternoon Tuesday, Fernandes said he had received nothing from Conyers' office.

"I've got to tell you that our mission of feeding hungry people has been violated by the people who should have been guardians of our mission," Fernandes said.

Fernandes said Conyers staffer Elisa Grubbs signed a Gleaners invoice Nov. 23 acknowledging she picked up the turkeys on the congressman's behalf. Fernandes sent the Free Press a copy of the invoice.

Read the rest, Conyers has some explaining to do.