Obama Grant to Aide under Investigation
A $100,000 grant that then-Illinois State Senator Barack Obama awarded in 2001 to a group headed by a one-time campaign volunteer is under investigation by the Illinois attorney general.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports the grant was intended for a botanical garden in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood, but the garden was never built and the money may have been misspent. Records obtained by the Sun-Times show $65,000 of the grant went to the wife of Kenny Smith — an Obama campaign volunteer for his failed congressional run in 2000. Smith heads the Chicago Better Housing Association which was in charge of the project.
Records show Smith wrote another $20,000 in grant-related checks to a construction company that his wife created five months after work on the garden was supposed to have begun.