Yesterday Big Government broke the story about an attempt by ACORN to obstruct justice by dumping documents into a trash bin just before a visit from the California AG’s office:
On October 1st, 2009 California Attorney General Jerry Brown announced that an investigation had been opened into ACORN’s activities in California, resulting from undercover videos showing employees seemingly offering to assist the undercover film makers with human smuggling, child prostitution and even tax advice to boot.
Although ACORN has denied any wrongdoing, some of the employees involved were terminated, and ACORN has publicly stated that they would fully cooperate with any investigations that followed.
Shockingly, we now learn that the ACORN office in National City (San Diego County) engaged in a massive document dump on the evening of October 9th, containing thousands upon thousands of sensitive documents, just days prior to the Attorney General’s visit.
All day long the Big Government site has been showing some of the incriminating documents, but who knows for how long they will be able to continue because the ACORN office has contacted the local DA, apparently they want their garbage back.
NATIONAL CITY, Calif. — An office of the community organization Acorn in San Diego County is trying to recover tens of thousands of documents taken from its garbage by a Republican activist.
It is the latest skirmish in a war between Acorn, which stands for Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, and conservative critics who accuse it of corruption.
The Republican activist, Derrick Roach, a private investigator who unsuccessfully ran for a State Assembly seat last year, said he took more than 20,000 documents from a caged trash area behind Acorn’s office in National City on Oct. 9.
Some of the documents, later posted on a Web site and displayed Monday at a news conference, appeared to show driver’s licenses and Social Security
Acorn’s lead organizer in California, Amy Schur, said that the confidential papers had been carelessly included in the trash and that there had been no intent to dump rather than shred them.
“We want to get our property back so that we can properly secure it,” she said.
An Acorn employee filed a report on Monday with the police in National City, a San Diego suburb that has a law forbidding scavenging of trash, Ms. Schur said.
She also contacted the county district attorney’s office asking for help in retrieving documents that contain personal or confidential information. The district attorney’s office said it was looking into the matter.
Mr. Roach said he was not concerned. “They’re not going to get the documents back,” he said.
Mr. Roach said he was shielded by a 1988 Supreme Court ruling that said there was no privacy expectation for garbage. He also said he had contacted the district attorney’s office and sent copies of some documents because he believed Acorn might have broken privacy laws by failing to shred those papers containing personal information.
Mr. Roach and Republican leaders have questioned why the material was dumped just days before investigators with the office of the state attorney general, Jerry Brown, were expected to visit the office.
Mr. Brown’s office began investigating after employees at Acorn offices in San Bernardino and San Diego were caught on video appearing to advise a couple posing as a pimp and prostitute to lie about the woman’s profession to gain financial help for housing.
Ms. Schur said the documents had been thrown out to make room for a new phone bank, not to avoid scrutiny. numbers of Acorn members or job applicants.