Thursday, July 28, 2011

Labor official resigns after findings of steerage to favored contractors

McClatchy reports:
A top Labor Department official in charge of helping veterans find jobs resigned this week amid findings that he had steered work to favored contractors.

Raymond Jefferson, assistant secretary of Labor for Veterans’ Employment and Training Service, and a presidential appointee, showed a “consistent disregard of federal procurement rules and regulations, federal ethics principle and the proper stewardship of appropriated dollars,” according to an internal Labor investigation.

A disabled veteran with degrees from West Point and Harvard Business School, Jefferson has a long history of military, academic and professional accomplishment. But an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Inspector General found that he allegedly pressured subordinates to force federal contractors to add his choices as subcontractors onto their projects.

That “led to the circumvention of rules related to open competition” according to an agency memorandum on the investigation.

One contractor, Stewart Liff, earned $700,000 over a period of 16 months, the investigation found. His first contract paid him $200 an hour; his second, $275, the report said.

How corrupt is that?