September 29, 2006 3:51PM

A Disservice to the Poor

There’s much ado at the Legal Services Corporation (LSC), the federally funded organization intended to provide legal assistance to the poor.

Last month, the AP catalogued a pattern of excessive spending at the LSC. Then, as I indicated in my National Review Online article, the LSC Board contemplated firing the employee who had unearthed much of the extravagance. This employee, LSC Inspector General Kirt West, has also found other questionable practices at the LSC and begun an investigation of the Board itself. 

Earlier this week, at a congressional hearing, the chairman of the LSC Board denied that board members had considered dismissing West. This was shocking given strong evidence to the contrary — namely, meeting transcripts from January in which the board’s vice-chair said of West, “[H]e’s got to shape up or we will ship him out.” At the same meeting, another board member said flatly, “He doesn’t belong as the Inspector General of this organization.” 

This is yet another sorry chapter in the history of the LSC. For over 20 years, this organization has continued to misuse taxpayer dollars to advocate political causes. Is it time to pick up the mantle of Ronald Reagan and finally abolish the LSC?