Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Gone To Ground

You can sense the frustration over at TPM Muckraker. Shirlington Limousine & Transportation Inc. has apparently gone into hiding. As in disappeared, vanished, can't be located, etc. Investigative reporter and sleuth, Justin Rood spent the day trying to find evidence the Shirlington, the recipient of over $20 million in Department of Homeland Security contracts even exists.

Shirlington is, as you know, Brent Wilkes and Duke Cunningham's preferred supplier of both transportation and other more intimate services. Apparently, despite having a variety of business addresses, Shirlington doesn't seem to be at home at any of them.

First thing, Justin checked out Shirlington's Washington National Airport address.

"Jim" -- I promised him I wouldn't use his real name -- worked in the building, and was happy to tell me what he knew. It wasn't much, but it was something.

"We hardly ever see 'em," he said of the Shirlington employees. "Once a month on Saturdays they have a training thing. The guy I normally see here, I haven't seen for a week or so." There was a pregnant lady who seemed to work as a secretary in the office, and keep regular hours. "She was in the office at eight or so, out around 4:30 or five." Recently, however, he hasn't seen her, either. "They kept quiet -- I never paid much attention."

See any Shirlington limo cars? "I've never seen them stage cars here," he said.

Fleet of limos and buses. You'd think somebody might has seen something.

Undaunted, Justin heads for the next Shirlington address (addresses really): 425 8th St. NW and 717 D St. NW.

Guess what? No offices, no limos, no buses, no Shirlington.

Justin did find someone who had actually seen a Shirlington limo and driver. But, that turned out to be a prom night gone bad back in 2000.

I'm sure that the folks over a TPM Muckraker are going to stick with the story. Maybe hang around the Department of Homeland Security and follow a limo home. Millions of dollars because someone at Shirlington was able to help Brent Wilkes get Duke Cunningham a little lovin'.