Tuesday, August 09, 2005

More Cunningham Sleaze

Both of San Diego's major newspapers are reporting on new developments in the First Auditors case that we reported on here two weeks ago. The North County Times summarizes the new developments.

"A Superior Court judge ruled Monday that a local company for which Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, R-Escondido, helped secure millions in federal contracts must pay about $900,000 to a Florida software developer.

The decision came in response to a petition filed by the Florida company to confirm a private arbitration award against San Diego-based First Auditors LLC for fees it allegedly failed to pay Orlando, Fla.-based Integrated Actuarial Services for supplying the software and setting up a computerized auditing system for the IRS, an Integrated attorney said Monday.

Officials and attorneys with the Florida company held a press conference Monday, mentioning Cunningham's involvement in helping to secure the contract."

First Auditors was incredibly unqualified to accomplish the task for which they were contracted. None of the three principles of the company had any accounting experience and the company had no other business aside from its contract with the IRS. A contract that the NC Times notes was achieved through the good offices of Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham.

"The eight-term congressman is a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee. In May 2001, he wrote a letter to Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Charles Rossotti, asking him to set up a meeting with executives with the San Diego-based First Auditors LLC to discuss that firm's desire to provide computerized auditing services to the IRS.

"I would like to request a meeting with you on behalf of my constituents, the principals of First Auditors LLC," Cunningham wrote to Rossotti in the 2001 letter.

Over the next 16 months, Cunningham sent three more letters to IRS officials asking about the issue."

What did Congressman Cunningham get from this deal? Well, according to the San Diego Union Tribune,

"First Auditors' three principals and their Washington lobbyist donated a total of $11,600 to Cunningham's re-election campaigns and political action committee between 2001 and 2005."

The company that actually had the expertise and the specialized software to accomplish the task required by the IRS, basically ended up doing the work for First Auditors and got nothing in return. The NC Times picks up the story.

"When First Auditors received the contract in 2002, the company subcontracted the software job to Integrated Actuarial Services. After receiving about $3.5 million for the initial phase of the work, however, First Auditors failed to pay IAS for its work, officials have alleged.

Integrated Vice President James Kavanagh said Monday that after it became apparent that First Auditors was not going to pay his company ---- "They never paid us a penny," he said ---- Integrated officials stopped providing technical assistance on the project. That was the reason the IRS decided to pull out of the project, he added."

Let's recap. Duke Cunningham provides substantial help and support to a group of his campaign contributors in order for them to gain a lucrative government contract, which they were woefully unqualified to accomplish. Cunningham's contributors scam off $3.5 million, contribute $11,600 to Cunningham's campaign funds, stiff the company that actually did the work and file for bankruptcy protection.

Why is this guy still in Congress? Oh....he and Tom Delay are good buddies and the Republican Culture of Corruption takes care of its own.