Acorn to shutter offices by April 1

National non-profit housing advocacy organization Acorn is folding and will
shutter state affiliates and field offices by April 1, the
scandal-plagued group has announced. The news follows a string of
highly-publicized embarrassments for the group. Last fall, Acorn
were accused of giving advice to activists posing as a
pimp and a prostitute on how to conceal their criminal behavior, and
during the 2008 election, Acorn was hit with a barrage of criticism over
allegedly shady voter registration efforts. Since then, Congress
stopped giving grants to the organization and the Internal Revenue
Service dropped it from its Voluntary Income Tax Assistance program. The
Brooklyn district attorney’s office last month concluded that the Acorn
employees in the video had not taken part in any criminal activity. But
in the end, the organization’s image could not recover. “For Acorn as a
national organization, our vindication on the facts doesn’t necessarily
pay the bills,” Acorn head Bertha Lewis said in a statement. The New
York chapter, however, has split from the national
group and operates under a new name, the New York Times reported
(Other state groups also reorganized and will take courses separate from

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national group.)