Rep. Johnson sidesteps scholarship scandal questions at grant announcement




Posted on October 20, 2010 at 1:10 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 20 at 1:21 PM

DALLAS - The City of Dallas received a major federal grant Wednesday.

The $2.2 million gift represents a first-of-its kind collaboration between HUD and the U.S. Department of Transportation. It's designed to support local efforts to achieve sustainable communities, which means communities where housing, transportation and service planning are linked.

Dallas will use the money to fund land acquisitions and planning at four sites.

Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson helped steer the grant to Dallas and attended the event in which the news was announced.

The Congress member is at the center of a probe into allegations that she misused scholarship money. At Wednesday's event, she did not want to address the topic. Johnson was surrounded by public relations employees who helped steer reporters away from the representative.

The allegations stem from questions surrounding the distribution of scholarship money to the daughter of a Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport executive, who also oversees minority contracts at the airport, including the D/FW retailer in which Johnson is an investor.

"I said weeks ago that I mistakenly made a mistake," she said. "I paid the money back and I have no further comment. I was just advised not to talk about it right now."

Johnson also did not comment in regards to her opponent, Stephen Broden, in the upcoming election for her seat.

The representative said she will probably not be able to address the scholarship scandal until after the election.