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Activist Groups Urge Obama to Reject Boy Scout Honor

From Fox News:

Activist groups, including Scouting for All, urge President Obama not to accept the honorary Presidency of the Boy Scouts of America until they stop discriminating.

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Panel looking into Boy Scout roster inflation

Associated Press

Web Posted : 01/06/2003 12:00 AM

DALLAS - Almost three years after federal agents raided the offices of the Boy Scouts of America's large Dallas franchise, a federal grand jury is examining evidence and hearing testimony from government witnesses.The raid came after whistle-blowers charged that to boost charitable donations some of the organization's salaried recruiters "with their boss' knowledge" fraudulently inflated membership rosters for a minority Scout program.

Scouting officials have repeatedly denied criminal wrongdoing. They have said faulty membership accounting procedures led to some irregularities and have since been changed.

Past and present Scout employees and volunteers said at the time of the April 7, 2000, raid that senior Scout executives ignored repeated complaints that long-expired "ghost troops" padded membership rolls by as much as 30 percent, mostly in an inner-city program geared to serve poor minority children.

They said ranking Circle Ten executives, under pressure from the national headquarters in Irving, pressured them to keep the expired troops to continue showing membership growth each year.

The numbers then were used to justify higher financing requests from parents and from major charitable organizations, such as the United Way.

In 2000, the Circle Ten franchise in Dallas was considered the fifth-largest of 324 Scout franchises nationwide, serving 70,000 North Texas children.

An attorney for the organization told the Dallas Morning News for Sunday editions that the grand jury has made contact, and that Circle Ten responded to its requests in an appropriate and timely manner.

Former Circle Ten Scout recruiter Dale Draper told the newspaper that authorities contacted him recently and said they are working to obtain criminal charges.

"I'm glad to hear it because it needs to be cleaned up for the good of the Scouts and for the good of those who want the Scouting organization to operate cleanly and honestly," said Draper, who now lives in Utah.





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