Monday, March 26, 2007

Rep. Waxman seeks info on admin contract with company tied to Cunningham


A House committee chairman is asking the White House for information about a contract awarded to MZM Inc., a company that was run by a defense contractor who pleaded guilty to bribing jailed GOP ex-Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham.

Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Los Angeles, released a letter to the White House on Monday asking for details on a $140,000 contract awarded to MZM in July 2002 by the Executive Office of the President, reportedly to provide computers and furniture for the vice president's office.

Waxman, who chairs the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said the inquiry was part of his ongoing investigation into waste, fraud and abuse in government contracting. He asked for correspondence and records related to the contract, noting "serious irregularities" with other MZM work.

MZM was run by Cunningham co-conspirator Mitchell Wade, who is cooperating with prosecutors after pleading guilty in February 2006 to bribing Cunningham in exchange for more than $150 million in government contracts for MZM. The value of some of those contracts has subsequently been questioned.

Waxman also asked for correspondence with Brent Wilkes, another defense contractor and alleged Cunningham co-conspirator who had a business relationship with Wade and was charged last month with fraud and conspiracy. Wilkes has pleaded not guilty.

A White House spokesman did not immediately respond to a message after hours.

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