Watergategate Update 6/15/06 (The Saga of the Curious Limo Contract)

Brian Zick

Paul Kiel and Justin Rood at TPM Muckraker have been following the hearings, in the House Homeland Security Committee, on Shirlington Limousine's $21 million contract with DHS. The president and vice president of the limo company had been invited to give testimony, "but they declined because of a federal grand jury investigation."Also, committee chair Peter King and ranking Democrat Bennie Thompson said a signed affidavit from Shirlington Pres Christopher Baker claims Duke Cunningham vouched for the company in a letter to DHS officials, when they were lobbying for the contract. But DHS claims they have no record of any such letter.In a followup report Rood and Kiel detect the odor of fish in the timing sequence of events in the awarding of Shirlington's contract. Seems Baker submitted a proposal to DHS three months before the DHS announced it would be seeking bids for such a contract. Moreover, Shirlington was given a very dubious federal recognition as a small business operating in "distressed areas" one week before the DHS made its bid solicitation public - and for which the special small biz status was required. Two weeks later Shirlington got its contract.Apparently committee members smelled something unpleasant as well.

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