Thursday, July 29, 2010

White House: Hey, Sorry for Trotting Out That Criminal for a Photo Op

They're the best and brightest or something. Do these clowns know what the words background check even mean? Of course since Obama is used to consorting with known criminals, maybe the value of the cheap photo op was just too much to resist.
President Barack Obama posed with a Charlottesville resident at a White House event on July 19. What we didn't know - and what the White House may not have known - is that court records show she's been found guilty of two crimes.

In his daily press briefing Thursday afternoon, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said the White House would have never invited Leslie Macko to pose with President Obama had they known about her criminal past. Macko, a Charlottesville resident, stood next to President Obama as his example of the need to extend jobless benefits.

"We need to extend unemployment compensation benefits for women like Leslie Macko, who lost her job at a fitness center last year, and has been looking for work ever since. Because she's eligible for only a few more weeks of unemployment, she's doing what she never thought she'd have to do. Not at this point, anyway. She's turning to her father for financial support," Obama said in his speech.

Macko was once employed at ACAC Fitness and Wellness Center in the Albemarle Square Shopping Center. However, in April 2009, a month after being found guilty of prescription drug fraud, she lost her job as an aesthetician in the spa at ACAC.

CBS19 learned Thursday that Macko, who appeared in the Rose Garden with President Barack Obama on July 19, has had more than one run-in with the law. In June of 2007, Macko was charged with grand larceny. The charge was reduced in court to petit larceny, and she was sentenced to two years probation.

ACAC CEO Greg Wells tells the Newsplex that Macko was not terminated nor discharged because of any illegal activity, but Wells would not comment on the condition of her termination.

The Legal Aid Justice Center, which represented Leslie Macko in her claim for unemployment benefits, released this statement to the Newsplex Thursday evening:

"Between March 2005 and April 2009, Ms. Macko was employed as an aesthetician by ACAC. When she was terminated in April 2009, Ms. Macko applied for unemployment benefits. On June 15, 2009, Ms. Macko was determined to be qualified for unemployment benefits. ACAC appealed that determination. After a hearing on the merits of Ms. Macko's case, the original determination was affirmed on September 14, 2009.

Ms. Macko was convicted of two unrelated misdemeanors. Throughout the unemployment proceedings, ACAC never alleged that Ms. Macko's termination was related to those cases."

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