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BGA Questions Spending Meant For Congressman Rush's Tech Center

CHICAGO (CBS) -- An investigation by the Better Government Association has raised questions about a technology center launched by Congressman Bobby Rush more than a decade ago.

WBBM Newsradio's Mike Krauser reports Rush announced the plans for the Rebirth of Englewood Community Development Corp. in 2000, funded in part by a $1 million grant from SBC – now AT&T.

BGA reporter Sandy Bergo said that $1 million is gone, and the Bobby L. Rush Center for Community Technology that was to be the centerpiece of the plan still doesn't exist. She also said required financial disclosure reports for the program are incomplete.

BGA Questions Rush's Handling Of Money For Tech Center

"On those reporting forms, for two years they said they had built a technology center; and that's not true," she said. "The center does not exist. It was supposed to give a major economic boost to that South Side community, which we know is plagued by violence, and has few business opportunities, but today the center does not exist, and the $1 million is gone."

Rush has said he doesn't know exactly where the money went, but claimed every penny was spent on community programs in Englewood.

"Money can be very influential. The telecom industry wanted to keep Bobby Rush happy," Bergo said.

Rush sits on the House Energy and Conmmerce Committee, which oversees the telecommunications industry.

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