Monday, October 11, 2010

Tim Bagwell asks Health and Human Services Inspector General to investigate $3+ million CDC funding of Save-A-Life Foundation and to review role of CDC executive who worked as Save-A-Life’s treasurer

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                          
Bagwell for Congress
Contact: Tim Bagwell
Phone: 812 607-0721

Today US House candidate Tim Bagwell sent an eight-page letter of concern to Daniel R. Levinson, Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services. In his letter, Bagwell requested an investigation to determine if over $3 million awarded to the Save-A-Life Foundation by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was spent properly.

Save-A-Life Foundation is a Chicago-area nonprofit that since 2006 has been the subject of TV and print exposes around the country, one of which “uncovered a series of misleading claims and deceptive credentials that raise doubts about Save-A-Life's integrity, funding and training.”

Along with supporting documentation regarding those concerns, Bagwell’s letter asked Inspector General Levinson to review the role of an Atlanta-based CDC executive who, since 2004, also worked as Save-A-Life’s Corporate Treasurer.

Bagwell, who holds a PhD in Public Administration and Policy Analysis, has conducted studies of abuse of consumer rights in the student loan program, voting irregularities in Illinois’ Sangamon and Rock Island Counties, and conducted Internal Control Reviews while employed at the Department of Defense.

Reportedly the Illinois Attorney General’s Charitable Trusts Bureau is investigating Save-A-Life.

“Presumably that investigation will be concerned with state issues,” says Bagwell. “My letter to Mr. Levinson is intended to address concerns about the millions in federal dollars Save-A-Life received from the CDC.”

Copied on Bagwell’s letter are Attorney General Eric Holder and Patrick J. Fitzgerald, US Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and CDC Director Dr. Thomas R. Frieden.

Bagwell’s opponent, Republican Congressman John Shimkus, reportedly steered at least $1.5 million of the CDC funding to Save-A-Life (Edwardsville Intelligencer, 1/15/05). In a letter last month, Bagwell asked Rep. Shimkus if he knew how the money had been spent and if the congressman intended to investigate.

“I got a two-sentence brush-off e-mail from a staffer who ignored my questions,” says Bagwell, a Democrat. “Is this the due diligence Congressman Shimkus applies to all his funding requests and appropriations?

“In any event, he made it clear he isn’t going to do his job, so I’m doing it for him.”