From Media Matters for America -- January 1, 2011:
Investigations Have Cleared ACORN Of Criminal Wrongdoing
New York City Prosecutors "Cleared ACORN Of Criminal Wrongdoing" Because O'Keefe And Giles "Edited The Tape To Meet Their Agenda." A March 1 New York Daily News article entitled, "B'klyn ACORN cleared over giving illegal advice on how to hide money from prostitution," reported:
Brooklyn prosecutors on Monday cleared ACORN of criminal wrongdoing after a four-month probe that began when undercover conservative activists filmed workers giving what appeared to be illegal advice on how to hide money.
While the video by James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles seemed to show three ACORN workers advising a prostitute how to hide ill-gotten gains, the unedited version was not as clear, according to a law enforcement source.
"They edited the tape to meet their agenda," said the source. [New York Daily News, 03/01/10]
Independent Review Found "No Evidence That Action, Illegal Or Otherwise, Was Taken By Any ACORN Employee On Behalf Of The Videographers." In his December 7, 2009, "Independent Governance Assessment of ACORN," former Massachusetts Attorney General Scott Harshbarger (D), who was hired by ACORN to conduct an inquiry in part into the videos, wrote:
While some of the advice and counsel given by ACORN employees and volunteers was clearly inappropriate and unprofessional, we did not find a pattern of intentional, illegal conduct by ACORN staff; in fact, there is no evidence that action, illegal or otherwise, was taken by any ACORN employee on behalf of the videographers.
Instead, the videos represent the byproduct of ACORN's longstanding management weaknesses, including a lack of training, a lack of procedures, and a lack of on-site supervision. [Independent Report, via Proskauer.com 12/07/09]
CA Attorney General: "[S]ome Members Of" ACORN "Engaged In 'Highly Inappropriate Behavior,' But Committed No Violation Of Criminal Laws." In an April 1 press release, then-California Attorney General Jerry Brown said that the videos show "some members of the community organizing group ACORN engaged in 'highly inappropriate behavior,' but committed no violation of criminal laws." The press release added: " 'A few ACORN members exhibited terrible judgment and highly inappropriate behavior in videotapes obtained in the investigation,' Brown said. 'But they didn't commit prosecutable crimes in California.' [CA Attorney General's Office, 04/01/10]