Dellums downplays stimulus funds audit

Mike Kepka / The Chronicle


Matthai Kuruvila, Chronicle Staff Writer

Two days after state auditors disclosed that Oakland misspent federal stimulus dollars meant for job creation, Mayor Ron Dellums said the city’s Recovery Act problems are a thing of the past.

The city, he said, had made “virtually all of the necessary changes” by the time the results of a review were released Tuesday by Laura Chick, the state inspector general in charge of tracking the spending of federal stimulus funds in California.

“It’s much ado about nothing, man,” Dellums said in his first comments on the matter. “It’s an accounting matter.”

Chick’s auditors found that Oakland, which has struggled with an 18.3 percent unemployment rate, did not properly account for about $830,000 of the $3 million in stimulus grants it received last year for summer youth, adult and dislocated-worker programs. Auditors found the city arbitrarily used the funds, inflated job numbers and made serious accounting mistakes that made it difficult for them to track how the money was spent.

Auditors also rejected the city’s contention that some of the funds were properly spent, including $2,806 used to send youths to places that included the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and a Concord water park.

On Thursday, Dellums insisted the trips were allowable expenditures under the federal jobs creation program.

“It’s about quality of life,” Dellums said. “It’s about inspiration.”

The mayor also criticized the news media for highlighting the trips in their reports.

“Get over it,” he said. “This is much ado about nothing.”

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I think we’ll “Get over it” when Dellums is long gone!

Dellums will have to answer IRS, if not public

Mark Costantini / The Chronicle


Chip Johnson

When news of Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums’ tax troubles came to light late last year, he told reporters the matter was being handled.

Well, apparently it has not been handled to the satisfaction of Internal Revenue Service officials, who last month added an additional $13,000 tax lien on the mayor’s real and personal property.

The Dec. 23 filing, which addresses the mayor’s 2008 taxes, does not state the reason for the additional penalty. It was filed just one month after disclosure of a $239,000 federal tax lien against Dellums and his wife, Cynthia.

That would be a lien on income received in his first year as mayor and it also means the IRS believes the Dellumses paid less than their full tax bill in four consecutive years.


Dellums offered no explanation to Oakland residents when reporters from The Chronicle and at least three other media organizations called for comment.

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Looks like another tax lien for Our Illustrious Mayor!
Thanks to Jeremy Flieder via Facebook.

Dellums Breaks His Silence In Rare Interview

Ron Dellums


OAKLAND, Calif. — It’s been three years since longtime congressman and Washington insider Ron Dellums took over as mayor of Oakland.

Dellums says he has accomplished much over the years, but he’s also been dogged by critics who cite his tendency to travel first class and regular absences from city hall.

Last week, Dellums spoke with KTVU in a rare interview, answering those critics with a measure of combativeness.

Dellums is about to begin the last year of his four-year term as mayor of Oakland. Oakland resident Thomas Cameron supported Dellums at first and even donated to his mayoral campaign.

Cameron had hoped the long-time veteran of congress could spark an Oakland renaissance. His views have changed since Dellums took office.

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Wow – Dellums breaks his silence! Imagine a public servant and leader that gives a “rare” interview! Time to speak up Ron and do your job.