Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Obama Security Breech

A follow-up to the Politico story on the 13th, from the Spectator


The Obama Administration is worried that yet another senior appointee has run into potential ethics issues one week into his new job.

According to one White House source, the Obama Administration asked its newly appointed chief technology officer to take a leave until the Department of Justice could provide the administration with additional information surrounding an FBI raid at the officer's former workplace, the Washington, D.C. Office of the Chief Technology Officer.

CTO Vivek Kundra had resigned from his D.C. post earlier this month to take the White House job; last Thursday the FBI raided the D.C. office, arresting Yusuf Acar, the acting chief security officer of the D.C. Office of the CTO, who was later charged with bribery of a public official, money laundering, wire fraud and conflict of interest. The FBI reported finding $70,000 in Acar's Northwest D.C. home.

When the White House was given head's up about the raid, the Justice Department informed the White House that Kundra was not a target of the investigation, but there are concerns at 1600 Pennsylvania that as more people are swept up in the burgeoning scandal, their appointee may get caught.

Also arrested, and complicating the White House's issues with Kundra, was Sushil Bansal, CEO of Advanced Integrated Technologies Corporation (AITC), who also faces bribery related charges.
Bansal is not a U.S. citizen, and is working here on a visa provided to foreign workers in "specialty" professions. Bansal's company has done work for the D.C. government since 2004, prior to Kundra's taking over the technology office. But when Kundra did take over the office, AITC's business more than doubled.

"What concerns us and the White House Counsel's office is that Kundra and Bansal seem to have a very tight relationship that was not discussed during the vetting process," says the White House source. (more)

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