Saturday, April 16, 2005

Questionable Behavior Explained ?

In the type of classic Friday afternoon document dump for which Washington has become notorious, The U.S. Department of Education released a report in which the Department admitted that at least one White House official knew about the bribes payments made to pundit-for hire Armstrong Williams. (bio: here) As reported by The New York Times this morning:
Officials at the Education Department expressed concerns about a contract with the conservative commentator Armstrong Williams last year, even bringing it to the attention of a White House policy adviser when it came up for renewal, according to an internal department report released on Friday.

The report, by the department's inspector general, found no evidence of unlawful or unethical behavior in connection with Mr. Williams's contract but criticized top department officials for "poor management decisions" and lax oversight.

Factions in the Education Department that questioned his contract were ignored.

Two department officials in particular, D. J. Nordquist, the former deputy director of public affairs who is now acting public affairs director, and Ann Radice, former chief of staff, had expressed doubts about the contract, the report found.

The report portrayed former Education Secretary Rod Paige and his top advisers as the driving force behind the $240,000 agreement with Mr. Williams, a commentator who promoted the No Child Left Behind Act.

The Inspector General's 20 page report may be viewed here.

See our post concerning the scandal here, and Armstrong's "apology" there.
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