Thursday, March 12, 2009

UPDATED! What is it This Time? FBI Raids Obama Apointee's Office

Ben Smith at The Politico reports that the FBI raided the office of Vivek Kundra, Obama's appointee for the position of Chief Information Officer.

Federal agents this morning are searching the Judiciary Square office of Washington, D.C.'s Chief Technology Officer.

The search is part of "an ongoing investigation," said a spokeswoman for the FBI's D.C. Field Office, Lindsay Gotwin, said. She declined to comment further.

The outgoing Chief Technology Officer, Vivek Kundra, was appointed last week Chief Information Officer by the Obama administration. His last day at the city government office was February 4, a spokeswoman for D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty, Leslie Kershaw, said.

"We know the FBI is over there but that's all we know," said a staffer in the D.C. CTO's office, Mario Field, who was working from a separate location. Another source familiar with the raid said the FBI had sent all staffers other than senior executives home for the day.

A White House spokesman had no immediate comment.

D.C. mayor's spokeswoman Kershaw said, "Our office has been alerted of FBI's being at CTO office, but we cannot comment until it's over and we get more details."

It looks like Obama has a knack for rooting out people with significant legal problems.

I will continue to update as details roll in.

Update: reports that 2 people have been arrested by the FBI on charges of bribery.

D.C. Office of the Chief Technology Officer employee Yusuf Acar and Advanced Integrated Technologies Corporation President and CEO Sushil Bansal have been arrested, sources tell WTOP.

Acar, 40, was taken into custody Thursday morning by FBI agents at his home in Northwest D.C.

Bansal has received multiple contracts from the D.C. Office of the Chief Technology Office, including contracts to develop Web-enabled applications and IT and anti-spyware support.

Update 2: Reuters reports that Kundra was not a target in the investigation into bribery in the office which he led. Either Kundra was just very lucky to get out of there a mere 7 days before the FBI dropped a train on the department or someone pulled him out just in time. That would mean that someone in the White House knew about the investigation. And, as luck would have it, the White House did know.

I'm not quite ready to add Kundra to the ever-growing list of corrupt Obama staffers, but this near-miss ought to raise some eyebrows.

But Geithner's tax problems didn't raise many eyebrows, but Democrats stopped being surprised of corruption within their ranks a long time ago.

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