Friday, July 16, 2010

Concerns About Census Fraud In Brooklyn Spur Investigations

The Census Department had already fired two people in Brooklyn for fraudulently counting nearly 10,000 households in Brooklyn forcing a recount of those households. Now, Rep. Ed Towns (D-NY) wants additional investigations because of additional accusations of fraud.
Towns then started his own investigation. He found even more accusations of fraud, including claims that workers at the Northeast and Central Brooklyn offices completed forms on individual households without actually talking to residents.

Census spokesman Burton Reist said the department is redoing counts in those areas and "conducting a nationwide investigation to determine whether this happened anywhere else."

"They could be undercounting thousands and thousands of people," Towns said. "A lot is riding here. Money for schools, food stamps, everything is connected to this count."

That's especially troubling during tough economic times in New York, where funding is being slashed in the city and statewide, he said. "We are still providing resources for people that we did not count," Towns said. "We want to make certain we count everybody so the resources will be there."
While Towns thinks this could result in undercounting, it is possible that such fraud could result in overcounting. The Census Department is tasked with accurately counting the population, and any determinations of fraud or malfeasance have to be addressed adequately. Hopefully, they'll be able to sort this mess out and get an accurate count.

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