Husband and Wife Abstinence-Only Execs “Marry” Federal Funding Contracts

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Husband and Wife Abstinence-Only Execs “Marry” Federal Funding Contracts

Jodi Jacobson

A husband and wife abstinence-only-until-marriage education team appear to find ways to keep your tax dollars in their family.

AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland has submitted a request to Scott Riggins, Acting Director of the Abstinence Education Division in the Family and Youth Services Bureau of the Department of Health and Human Services for a formal review and examination of Elizabeth’s New Life Center (ENLC) for possible conflict of interest in the use of federal funds.  Readers of Rewire will recognize ENLC as the organization that hired the "Abstinence Clown" to teach students how to abstain from sex until marriage.

AIDS Taskforce’s request for review is based on the apparent sub-contracting of work between ENLC and another organization known as One More Soul without competitive bidding.  The Executive Director of ENLC, Vivian Koob, is married to the Executive Director of One More Soul, Steve Koob.  In the letter, Earl Pike, Executive Director of AIDS Taskforce writes:

"With CBAE [Community-Based Abstinence Education ] funds to support its “Marriage Works!” program, it appears that Ms. Koob and ENLC has subcontracted with an organization called One More Soul ( to “develop curriculum to be used by their staff in stand-alone instruction to be given at recruited venues or as a supplement to existing programs to be used by Marriage Works/Partners in Marriage Education/Enrichment activities.”  The amount of that sub-contract is listed as $73,498.  (See attached copy of “Contractual Agreement” between ENLC and One More Soul—note that although the agreement is signed by Board President Glenn Jividen as One More Soul’s Board representative, Steve Koob is, in fact, One More Soul’s Executive Director.)"

Information on CBAE programs can be found here, and a copy of the contract can be found here.

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Is it permissible, Pike asks:

"For federal contractees to essentially “keep the money in the family” by sub-contracting to agencies run by spouses, without evidence of a competitive bid or assured qualifications?  (It is not clear how much, or whether, Mr. Koob draws a salary from One More Soul, but we must presume that some compensation is involved.  Even in the absence of compensation, however, ENLC’s decision to offer a no-bid sub-contract to One More Soul supports an organization with which Mr. Koob, at the very least, has a compelling personal interest.)"

If in fact there is a no-bid contract situation, the Koobs have not only found a way to tap into federal funding for deeply discredited programs, but have also found ways to keep as much of your tax dollars in their own family.

We will keep you posted.