In a not so surprising turn of events, sources have outed the fraud, harassment, and waste within the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS), one of the Obama administration’s key recipients of taxpayer funds. The organization is supposed to aid the resettlement of Muslims and other refugees who are trying to invade the United States the same way that they’ve invaded Europe.
Toward that end, they are one of nine voluntary agencies who collect more than $1 billion every year, in order to distribute that wealth among the Muslims who seek the hand-outs provided by liberals.
However, not everyone on the Board is a goose-stepping leftist thief. The Chairman and a member who audits the activities has called for an external investigation of CEO Linda Hartke.
According to an email obtained by the source, LIRS Board Chairman Michael Rinehart wrote of CEO Linda Hartke on September 13, 2017, to Evelyn Soto and Evan Moilan, the board member who chairs the audit committee, “I will also likely ask the Board of Directors to table the CEO Review until we have the report of the investigation.”
Apparently, some shady doings attracted the attention of these members.
Rinehart wrote the next day, “The Executive Committee convened and agreed to an investigation. I have spoken to Linda. The investigation team has formed. They will meet next week in St. Louis. I have the names of three law firms with whom to talk. Things are moving fast.”
And on the following day, Rinehart added, “She knows there’s going to be an independent investigation. A committee. Legal firm help. She knows it concerns Cecilia [Hoyer, the former Chief Human Resources Officer who resigned September 15] and the audit, as well as allegations of a pervasive atmosphere of harassment, bullying, and squelching of those raising the issues.”
On October 18, Rinehart issued the following statement to all LIRS staff, writing, “Our goal through this self-examination is to strengthen the organization and assist the Board in leading LIRS. To oversee this process, LIRS has engaged the services of Kathy Hoskins and Mark Saudek of Baltimore-based Gallagher Evelius & Jones LLP. We expect that, at the appropriate juncture, Kathy and Mark will seek the input of staff members.”
The source told reporters that there was an incredible need for an external investigation. “The issues related to Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIaRS) are widespread but are rooted in the main areas of financial mismanagement and the incompetence of leadership,” the person said.
The source added, “LIaRS is essentially a U.S. government contractor whose 2016 record revenue totaled nearly $70 million of which approximately 95 percent came from the government through refugee resettlement and children’s services grants, as well as refugee travel loan collections. The balance of the revenue comes through charitable donations as an IRS authorized 501c3 organization from individuals, corporations and foundations, as well as Lutheran church body support.”
Seventy million is outrageous, but the source said that over the past six years, “tens of millions” of dollars have been given to the agency by the federal government. However, LIRS just sends part of the funds to about 40 independent nonprofits that do the resettlement work.
The source added, “the soap opera drama incompetence of the CEO, who rakes in $293,000/year and is under an investigation by the Board of Directors for a culture of harassment, discrimination, bullying, slander, and even backdating an overdue State of MD tax form.”
The person added, “Clearly, something is wrong.”
The source said, “Over the six year period from 2011 through 2016, LIaRS revenue from the U.S. government grew from $30 million to almost $65 million. During that time, under CEO Hartke’s oversight, the headquarters’ spending exploded from $8.8 million to $13.5 million with a staff of less than 100. Hartke’s salary also jumped from $182,270 to more than $293,000 last year (note this does not include her 9 percent employer retirement plan contribution, 100% employer paid health care, and paid time off).”
The individual speculated, “the only way Hartke could continue to spend on herself and the headquarters is through charging the USG an indirect cost recovery rate on the entire amount of their grants, even though 90 percent of the funds were simply passed through to subawards to the dozens of independent affiliates that actually do the refugee resettlement work (i.e. Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains, RefugeeOne of Chicago, Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees, etc.).”
What else could be expected from an organization that has deep liberal ties? There are allegations of grant fraud, severance payments “to avoid public and Board reporting,” and timesheet fraud. Sounds about right for leftists.
Hopefully, the investigation will stop the waste and criminal activity, and President Trump will put a stop to the billions being paid to Muslims who just got here, by American taxpayers who want the numbers reduced.