In the midst of controversy surrounding an ongoing series of videos exposing behavior from ACORN staffers, which CEO Bertha Lewis has now described as “indefensible,” the community activist group has suspended operations nationwide and initiated an internal investigation by board members inclding John Podesta. Lewis stated “we will go to whatever lengths necessary to reestablish the public trust.”
Although ACORN initially attempted to deflect criticism by claiming that employees’ willingness to assist undercover investigators posing as a pimp and prostitute in various crimes were isolated and atypical, as more videos were released and even some prominent Democratic lawmakers began to demand an end to federal funding and a Congressional investigation, it became clear that merely firing the workers involved would not address concerns over problems which appear to be systemic in the organization.
ACORN’s most vocal critics are already describing the internal investigation as another “ruse” designed to deflect serious external investigation and likely to just continue the pattern of shifting blame to employees to avoid accountability for the organization as a whole. Mathew Vadum of American Spectator suggested that ACORN would use the investigation as “a smokescreen and throw lower-level employees to the wolves.”