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Culture of corruption alert

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By Michelle Malkin  •  March 11, 2009 01:47 PM

Nothing to see here. Move along:

The West Virginia High Tech Consortium has provided more than $75,000 in free rent and administrative services to the Robert H. Mollohan Family Charitable Foundation, according to tax records, while receiving millions of dollars worth of earmarks from Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-W. Va.), who serves as the family foundation’s secretary.

The West Virginia High Technology Consortium Foundation is a nonprofit organization that Mollohan helped establish in the 1990s to bring high-tech jobs and training to his district in northern West Virginia. Mollohan has provided the WVHTC with millions of dollars of earmarks from his seat on the House Appropriations Committee. According to documents from an ongoing court case, Mollohan has been intimately involved in some of the organization’s major management decisions.

The Robert H. Mollohan foundation is a charity the family created in 2000 that provides small grants and internship opportunities to local students. It operates out of a building bearing Alan Mollohan’s name that is run by the WVHTC.

Neither Mollohan’s office nor the WVHTC responded to repeated requests from Roll Call for comments on this story.

According to the WVHTC tax records for 2006, the organization made two “non-cash grants” in 2005, both to the Robert H. Mollohan Family Charitable Foundation. One grant provided $41,670 worth of “administrative services,” the other was $34,562 worth of office space. Both gifts are reported as having been made in September 2005.

Last year, the Mollohan family foundation indicated in its tax return that it “conducts scholarships and educational programs previously operated by the West Virginia High Technology Consortium Foundation … in exchange for which the Mollohan Foundation receives a contribution of in-kind space and administrative support from the WVHTC Foundation.” This explanation did not appear in the foundation’s previous tax returns.

In October 2005, the WVHTC issued a press release announcing that its pilot project to use technology to help locate missing children “will be expanded across West Virginia with a $986,643 federal grant obtained by Congressman Alan B. Mollohan.” The release went on to explain that Mollohan “placed the funding in the U.S. Justice Department 2005 budget … a follow-up to the nearly $500,000 he earmarked in 2004 to launch the program.”

Over the years, Mollohan has provided millions of dollars in earmarks for the WVHTC, and though he lists no position with the group on his annual financial disclosure forms, he appears to have been closely involved in the operations of that group and others that he provides with earmarks.

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Previous: Vent report on Mollohan.

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