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Taxpayers foot $40,000 bill for Anthony Hargrove speeches

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When Seahawks defensive end Anthony Hargrove traveled to Portsmouth, Virginia, this summer to speak to youth in the city about his troubled upbringing, it cost taxpayers $40,000.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that the city’s top prosecutor has asked for a state audit of the expenses, which consisted of $30,000 in speaking fees and $10,000 for hotel rooms, a banquet and other expenses.

The event was organized by a Portsmouth social services employee who was the social worker for Hargrove and his siblings when they were growing up in New York. Hargrove grew up as a foster child, and Portsmouth officials said his life story would be inspirational for local kids.

But it’s unclear why that inspirational story had to cost the taxpayers $40,000, especially when some of the expenses included five hotel rooms for six nights for Hargrove and his relatives, even though the extent of Hargrove’s speaking was three two-hour sessions.

Hargrove has played in all four games for the Seahawks this season after signing just before Week One. He played 2009 and 2010 for the Saints after being suspended for the entire 2008 season for his third violation of the league’s substance-abuse policy.

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40 Responses to “Taxpayers foot $40,000 bill for Anthony Hargrove speeches”
  1. cakemixa says: Oct 7, 2011 10:32 AM

    lol thats awfully nice of him

  2. joetoronto says: Oct 7, 2011 10:33 AM

    “He played 2009 and 2010 for the Saints after being suspended for the entire 2008 season for his third violation of the league’s substance-abuse policy.”

    They paid this mofo $40,000 to speak, really?

  3. jw731 says: Oct 7, 2011 10:47 AM

    Nope…..This wasn’t a scam at all…

  4. conseannery says: Oct 7, 2011 10:48 AM

    Where’s Ron Swanson when you need him?

  5. adogdc says: Oct 7, 2011 10:55 AM

    Normal Business practice within qausi-government sectors.

    Nothing to see here. Move on unless you are hater of him and his story. The Rich don’t pay for sh*t. You are a LAME if you don’t know that by now.

  6. shallowfan says: Oct 7, 2011 10:55 AM

    Nothing like seeing players give their time and remembering where they came from…he sounds like a humble, down to earth guy, just happy to be playing football for a living.

    Thanks for giving back hargrove…

  7. bluvayner says: Oct 7, 2011 10:58 AM

    Why not ? Bill Clinton’s been operating that way since he left office.

  8. medialovesthecowboys says: Oct 7, 2011 10:59 AM

    The only thing that makes him “inspirational” (a.k.a. relevant) is that he’s in the NFL. How does that help the average poor kid, who will never be a professional athlete? There’s more inspiration in watching Slumdog Millionaire than this.

  9. TheDPR says: Oct 7, 2011 11:02 AM

    Three 2-hour sessions for $30,000. That’s $5000 an hour.

    How did this even get approved in the first place? I work for the commonwealth and it’s pulling teeth just to get comped for gas/meals/hotel when going to training that relates to my job.

    And FIVE hotel rooms for six nights?!?

    Whoever arranged these accommodations and approved payment should be fired. It’s almost criminal.

  10. captaincanoe says: Oct 7, 2011 11:23 AM

    A lifetime grifter. No shame.

  11. PFTiswhatitis says: Oct 7, 2011 11:27 AM

    THIS taxpayer wants a refund.

  12. j98me2 says: Oct 7, 2011 11:29 AM

    The government spent 40k to have a guy with a drug problem speak kids.

    Really….

  13. hatesycophants says: Oct 7, 2011 11:30 AM

    This false outrage is exactly what corporations who own bureaucrats and the media expect of you. Smiff, should we expect future posts revealing tax payers being fleeced?

    The objective media is dead. Long live our corporate media oppressors!

    Go Lions! Go Badgers! Go Tigers!

    Go Lion

  14. whoknowsnothing says: Oct 7, 2011 11:31 AM

    Expect him to give another speech about this.

    Nobody should have to pay an athlete to give a speech about anything. They make enough money as it is, if they want to volunteer their time that’s ok, he could have done his speech via video conference and saved that taxpayers money for something else.

    wasting money

  15. cwmorga says: Oct 7, 2011 11:45 AM

    He grew up in the inner city, watched his mom die from AIDS related illness when he was in elementary school. He became addicted to cocaine, was kicked out of the NFL, but got clean and got his life back on track and became a Super Bowl champion.

    I think it’s an inspiring story.

  16. gmenhq says: Oct 7, 2011 11:48 AM

    what is the point exactly? that an athlete gave a series of talks and a state agency picked up his travel, hotel, and speaking expenses for himself and family?

    are you SERIOUS?

  17. nflofficeadmin says: Oct 7, 2011 11:51 AM

    So what’s the message… There’s no hope for you kids, doomed to be grifters, just like uncle Tony.

  18. waxedagain says: Oct 7, 2011 11:52 AM

    Another great non-football story from TMZ Sports.

  19. klutch14u says: Oct 7, 2011 12:02 PM

    Inspiring story yes, I’m sure he’d already taken his “fare share” of tax dollars while growing up. Now he takes more to “share” the story?

  20. citizenstrange says: Oct 7, 2011 12:02 PM

    A Boys and Girls Club can ALWAYS use $40K.

    All those involved should be ashamed for scamming kids.

  21. moochzilla says: Oct 7, 2011 12:05 PM

    Here in NJ, that would be cheap. I believe we paid Snookie significantly more to speak at Rutgers late last year.

  22. thingamajig says: Oct 7, 2011 12:26 PM

    bluvayner says:
    Oct 7, 2011 10:58 AM
    Why not ? Bill Clinton’s been operating that way since he left office.

    Yup. Along with Sarah Palin, Jessie Jackson and every other ex politician that isn’t now a lobbyist.

  23. pigskinswag says: Oct 7, 2011 12:34 PM

    Your tax dollar at work…

  24. fjtardy says: Oct 7, 2011 12:38 PM

    Why is it so easy for these people whose job depends on tax-payers money to spend tax-payers money?

  25. tonyt33 says: Oct 7, 2011 12:58 PM

    If he wants to be an inspiration to the kids, then he should give them a lesson in charity and donate the money he was paid to speak to their local youth organizations, Boys & Girls Club, etc…
    I hope he is embarrassed that this story came out and he does the right thing.

  26. schrutebeetfarms says: Oct 7, 2011 1:17 PM

    Wasteful spending by the government? Say it isn’t so!

  27. ganggreen2011 says: Oct 7, 2011 1:21 PM

    Funny story. Hargrove didn’t seem troubled when growing up in suburbia Port Charlotte, FL with his Aunt…

  28. kingmj4891 says: Oct 7, 2011 1:24 PM

    I hope they throw the idiot who approved this in jail

  29. joetoronto says: Oct 7, 2011 1:38 PM

    cwmorga says: Oct 7, 2011 11:45 AM

    He grew up in the inner city, watched his mom die from AIDS related illness when he was in elementary school. He became addicted to cocaine, was kicked out of the NFL, but got clean and got his life back on track and became a Super Bowl champion.

    I think it’s an inspiring story.
    *************************************************
    Ah yes, he’s the “victim”, got it.

  30. m2karateman says: Oct 7, 2011 1:51 PM

    Crime doesn’t pay? Sounds like it pays $40k a week to me…..

  31. Land Snark says: Oct 7, 2011 2:14 PM

    Seeing some of the fantastic writing that gets posted here the Commonwealth would have been better off hiring a teacher for a year instead.

    But hey. At least a few kids were *inspired* for a few days instead.

  32. hrmlss says: Oct 7, 2011 2:45 PM

    Anyone for a pool to pick the month and year he has to sell his super bowl ring?

  33. lgbarn says: Oct 7, 2011 2:48 PM

    bluvayner says:
    Oct 7, 2011 10:58 AM
    Why not ? Bill Clinton’s been operating that way since he left office.

    ————————————————

    It’s expected that when Bill Clinton is speaking that he will command a speaking fee. This guys is making like he’s giving back to his community…big difference. Beside, Bill is probably worth the money. I’m sure George W. Bush is getting his coin for speaking engagements as well. I’m told that “Spoken Word” for upside down children’s books pay very well.

  34. fjtardy says: Oct 7, 2011 3:09 PM

    I like how “the city’s top prosecutor has asked for a state audit of the expenses”. So, the top prosecuter (layer) wants the tax payers, who are already down thousands of dollars to pay himself, his assistants in the city, and a state auditor, who all exist on tax-payer money, to flip the bill for thousands of dollars of their time and travel expenses to audit something that is obvious to all of the tax payers? I’m sure glad they all get paid more money than I do…

  35. birdmantd says: Oct 7, 2011 3:19 PM

    Portsmouth has about 100,000 people. Let’s say about 40% of those people pay taxes. That would mean Hargove costs the taxpayers on average a buck each (obviously some pay more than others). Median household income is only $36k in so even though it’s just maybe the cost of one McChicken it is material enough in a less than affluent community to make a stink out of it.

  36. kinggw says: Oct 7, 2011 3:56 PM

    This story is crap. Way more Virginia taxpayer money is wasted on the state funding religious brainwashing factories like Liberty and Regent universities.

    Hargrove’s visit is a positive thing for that community and if it inspired just a few kids to do something with their lives versus ending up incarcerated then the state has already made their money back.

  37. savannahrose44 says: Oct 7, 2011 6:44 PM

    When Hargrove was 6, the Brooklyn tenement where he lived with his mother and two of his four half-siblings burned down. He lived in homeless shelters and foster care until his mother died when he was 9. An aunt in Port Charlotte adopted him.
    Hargrove has said that he began abusing drugs during his time with the Rams. He went through a series of failed drug tests and other difficulties during his tenure with the Rams and the Bills. After his 2008 suspension, he spent more than a year in treatment centers in South Carolina and North Miami Beach. Eight months after leaving the treatment center, he found himself back in Miami to play in the Super Bowl. In view of his comeback, Hargrove’s Saints teammates voted him the winner of their 2009 Ed Block Courage Award.

    I sure hope none of you have ever made bad choices in your lives, or done anything you were not very proud of. At least this man cleaned up his act and is attempting to help at risk kids. Honestly that speaking fee is reasonable for a celebrity speaker. Most command a much larger fee. I think it’s ironic how quickly people forget about the charity work he does do and the time and money he does in fact donate.

  38. tramo1 says: Oct 7, 2011 10:33 PM

    Good example of Obamanomics at work!

  39. dmobey says: Oct 9, 2011 1:23 PM

    The most inspiring thing is how someone from the inner city can get $30k for a couple of speeches.

    Brings a tear to my eye.

  40. dmobey says: Oct 9, 2011 1:23 PM

    Yes, Bush’s $800B tarp program was true economics at work.

    **********************************
    tramo1 says:
    Oct 7, 2011 10:33 PM
    Good example of Obamanomics at work!

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