By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com January 28 2003 1:00 AM ET
The District of Columbia inspector general has launched a review of whether millions of dollars of district and federal money was misspent by two employees of an HIV/AIDS office who are being investigated for their possible participation in a Washington Teachers' Union financial scandal, The Washington Post reports. The scandal broke in December when allegations surfaced that top officials in the teachers union had misspent more than $2 million of union members' dues to buy themselves luxury items, including a $20,000 fur coat and a $57,000 Tiffany silver service. A federal grand jury is currently reviewing union documents as part of a joint investigation by the FBI, Labor Department, and D.C. inspector general's office.
Two figures in the union scandal--Michael Martin and Errol Alderman--work in the D.C. Department of Health's HIV/AIDS office and were partners in a business called Expressions Unlimited. An FBI affidavit and a recent audit by the American Federation of Teachers said it appeared that the business received improper payments from the union. Investigators are now trying to determine if any HIV/AIDS funds were also misspent. Martin, operations manager for the HIV/AIDS office, said last week that he did not know of any financial impropriety.
Gloria P. Johnson, chief of staff for the inspector general's office, said the new review of HIV/AIDS spending will begin immediately. "It will be a comprehensive review of everything going on in the office," she said. "All of our auditors and inspectors are required to refer to our investigative unit any findings that are suspicious."