Another golfing buddy of Obama in hot seat over staffer’s alleged ‘kickbacks’
By GEOFF EARLE Bureau Chief
August 10, 2013
WASHINGTON — Another one of President Obama’s golfing pals is in the rough.Dr. Eric Whitaker, a longtime Obama friend from Chicago who has golfed his way through Obama’s term in office — including at a round for the president’s 52nd birthday last week — is cooperating with the feds as they probe a $433,000 kickback scheme.Whitaker’s former chief of staff at the Illinois Health Department is under investigation for allegedly taking kickbacks starting in 2006. Whitaker ran the department from 2003 to 2007.A federal grand jury indicted Quinshaunta Golden this week on fraud, bribery and theft charges as part of an ongoing probe into sleazy graft in Illinois contracts that has ensnared 13 people.Golden is accused of taking the cash through kickbacks on contracts her agency awarded to a variety of not-for-profit health-care groups.“I had no first hand knowledge of the activities outlined in this indictment and was not involved in any way,” Whitaker said in a statement issued Thursday.“As requested by the US attorney, I have been fully cooperating with the investigation into these matters.”There’s no information that he’s a target in the scheme. Last year, Whitaker left a job at the University of Chicago hospital, where Golden also worked.Another Obama golf pal, high-school friend Bobby Titcomb, was arrested in 2011 on suspicion of soliciting a hooker in an undercover sting in Honolulu. But Obama still invited him him to golf afterward.Whitaker first met Obama on the basketball court at Harvard, where both were pursuing advanced degrees. He has vacationed with Obama and donated to campaigns going back to Obama’s 2006 Senate run. He’s also been a visitor to the White House for such events as a Motown tribute and a Super Bowl party.According to the indictment, Golden is alleged to have given up to $1 million in government grants to a consultant who was supposed to kick back half the money to her.Golden also stands accused of hiring a security consultant to check the background of potential nursing-home employees for criminal convictions. The firm allegedly downplayed ex-convicts’ violent crimes and the risks they posed to elderly residents.US Attorney James Lewis indicated Whitaker was not currently a target. “There is nothing in the material you have today that leads towards an answer to that question,” he said at a press conference.
These not for profits in large cities are nothing more than money laundering get out the vote machines!!!!