Bishop will repay scholarships

The Augusta Chronicle is reporting that Rep. Sanford Bishop, who is facing a serious contender in Mike Keown, will repay scholarships given to members of his family:

The campaign for U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop, D-Albany, says controversial scholarships given through the Congressional Black Caucus, of which he is a member, to the congressman’s relatives and to the wife of a longtime aide will be repaid.

Calling the claims of wrongdoing against Bishop “outrageous accusations,” Bishop’s Campaign Manager Tim Turner said in an e-mailed statement Friday that Bishop would repay the scholarships in question. Turner, who blamed the controversy on Bishop’s Republican opponent for the Second Congressional District seat, did not say whether the money would be repaid from Bishop’s personal funds. The amount of the scholarships also is not known.

The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation scholarships, however, were first reported by Washington-based Politico.

Members of the caucus are allowed to award $10,000 in scholarships each year. According to the nonprofit foundation’s records, Bishop awarded his stepdaughter, Aayesha Owens Reese, a scholarship in 2003. He awarded foundation scholarships in 2003 and 2005 to his niece, Emmaundia J. Whitaker. Also in 2003, Sherletha A. Thomas, who is now the wife of Bishop’s longtime district staff director, Kenneth Cutts, received a scholarship. Cutts and Thomas were not married at the time she received the money.

Fox News recently touched on this story, which is clearly Mike Keown’s fault:


  1. Baker says:

    I’d imagine the Congressional Black Caucus is in a bit of a freak out mode hoping no one else did this. Plenty of people on both sides are going to be poring over the books to find any other shenanigans.

  2. Gwinnett is Great says:

    Also to note – In 2005, Sanford bishop gave an amount below $5k for the CBC Spouses Education Scholarship Program of which his wife benefited. His wife Vivian was CHAIR of the CBC Spouses in 2003 & 2005, and also being, as best I can tell, an Assistant Treasurer of the CBCF in 2003. Note that the Scholarship program is the CBC Spouses Scholarship Program.

    There are Federal laws prohibiting persons of substantial influence in a non-profit from receiving any part of the net earnings from one.

    Also, Akeevia Gunn is god daughter to Sanford Bishop and Vivian Bishop and received this scholarship in 2008, after the “guidelines” were changed.

    The real question: Did these family members and friends actually use the money to go to school? If so, what colleges? Were they in GA2? How many others are on these lists that got illigitmate scholarships?

  3. Lady Thinker says:

    I wonder if the Open Records Act can be used on those receiving the money to determine if it was indeed used for the purposes outlined.

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