WASHINGTON (By TODD J. GILLMAN, The Dallas Morning News) – U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson awarded eight scholarships last year to her grandsons and a top aide's children – bringing to 23 the number of awards she handed out since 2005 in violation of Congressional Black Caucus Foundation eligibility rules.
The Dallas Morning News reported Sunday that over the last five years, the Dallas Democrat has awarded up to $20,000 in 15 scholarships to two grandsons, two great-nephews, and aide Rod Givens' children between 2005 and 2008. The 2009 awards – reflected in a previously undisclosed list provided Monday by the foundation – push that above $25,000.
"While I am not ashamed of helping, I did not intentionally mean to violate any rules in the process," Johnson said in a written statement issued Monday night, after two days of national scrutiny and sniping from critics, including her campaign opponent. "To rectify this matter immediately, I will reimburse the funds by the end of this week."