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Preliminary report clears ACORN on funds

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Conservatives pushed to defund ACORN in 2009
  • Group forced to disband earlier this year
  • 9 agencies found only 1 problem that ACORN quickly fixed

(CNN) -- A preliminary probe of now-disbanded community organizing group ACORN has found no sign the group or related organizations mishandled the $40 million in federal money they received in recent years, congressional investigators reported Monday.

A review of grants by nine federal agencies, mostly for housing issues, found problems with only one award -- and in that case, the separately administered ACORN Housing Corporation quickly provided a missing piece of documentation, the Government Accountability Office reported.

Nearly two dozen members of Congress requested an investigation after a series of complaints against ACORN and its affilliates, including an accounting scandal, several cases of voter registration fraud and the release of edited videotapes made by conservative activists that appeared to implicate ACORN workers in facilitating prostitution.

Republicans in Congress have blasted the organization as corrupt and led an effort to strip the group of federal funding in 2009, and the negative publicity forced it to disband earlier this year.

ACORN has said it is the victim of a smear campaign by conservatives, and a federal judge ruled in March that the law barring the group's receipt of federal funds was unconstitutional.