|« Another Central HOV wreck||DMN - Facing slow growth, Dallas exurbs stuck with unused services »|
On April 1, Congressman Ralph Hall (R-Rockwall) submitted a $500,000 earmark to the House Appropriations Committee for "Completion of North Central Texas Fusion System."
If past history means anything, the lion's share of this $500,000 will go directly to the son and daughter in-law of Hall's fellow Congressman Sam Johnson. So far, over $1.1 million of federal grant money for development of the Fusion Center has gone to ADB, a small company owned by Dr. Bob Johnson and his wife Anita Miller and operated out of their home in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Hall's earmark listing states, "I am requesting funding for the Completion of North Central Texas Fusion System in fiscal year 2010. The entity to receive this program is the Collin County Homeland Security on behalf of the North Central Texas Fusion System"
A presentation prepared this month by the fusion center's manager, Kelley Stone for the commissioners court (but never presented to them) showed that federal funding for the county's Homeland Security Department is decreasing.
In fiscal year 2003, the county received over $1.1 million dollars in federal Homeland Security grants. These grants to the county have decreased almost every year, such that in FY 2008 the county only was awarded a little over $501 thousand.
|Fiscal Year||$ Homeland Security||$ Fusion Center|
As long as federal grant levels for the fusion center remain unstable, it is far from certain that the federal government will continue to make adequate fusion center funds available in future budget years.
The county commissioners have expressed the fear that if federal funds are decreased or eliminated, the Homeland Security Department and especially the fusion center will become a kind of unfunded mandate paid for by county tax revenues.
Future federal fusion center funding could be harder to obtain after recent revelations of alleged nepotism by ADB, and after an alert bulletin put out by the Fusion Center sparked a congressional hearing and swift visit from federal HS Department officials to "re-train" local fusion center employees.
Collin County might find the recent federal grand jury summoning of the local fusion center manager in Cuyahoga County, Ohio for possible grant fund fraud far more troubling than any unfunded mandate.
Meanwhile, Ralph Hall's earmark could be Dr. Bob Johnson's best hope for a Collin County meal ticket in 2010.
No feedback yet
Comments are closed for this post.