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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Another Obama Appointee Withdrawal Coming?

This has got to seem like a nightmare Barack Obama cannot awaken from.

After finishing a post on the withdrawal of Charles Freeman, I open Memeorandum to see blaring headlines like "FBI raids office of D.C. CTO, Obama appointee," and "2 arrested in FBI raid at Obama appointee's office."

The Washington Post and WTOP Radio report that the men are being held on bribery charges.

The outgoing Chief Technology Officer, Vivek Kundra, was appointed last week Chief Information Officer by the Obama administration. His last day at the city government office was March 4, a spokeswoman for D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty, Leslie Kershaw, said. He was appointed to the Washington post in 2007, and held it when Bansal's contract was awarded.

"We know the FBI is over there but that's all we know," said a staffer in the D.C. CTO's office, Mario Field, who was working from a separate location. Another source familiar with the raid said the FBI had sent all staffers other than senior executives home for the day. WTOP reported that agents are searching the 9th and 10th floors of the building.

A White House spokesman had no immediate comment.

From the second piece:

A D.C. Office of the Chief Technology Officer employee and a private contractor have been arrested in a federal bribery sting, sources tell WTOP.

D.C. Office of the Chief Technology Officer employee Yusuf Acar and Advanced Integrated Technologies Corporation (AITC) President and CEO Sushil Bansal have been arrested, sources tell WTOP.

Acar, 40, was taken into custody Thursday morning by FBI agents at his home in Northwest D.C.

In 2008, Bansal's firm received .Net Development Support and Peoplesoft Consulting Support contracts from the D.C. Office of the Chief Technology Office totaling $350,000.

AITC has also received contracts from the D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles. In 2008, Bansal received the Entrepreneur of the Year Award from the Association of Indians in America, according to AITC's Web site.

Government records show Bansal is not a U.S. citizen and holds an H-1B visa, which is given to foreign workers in specialty occupations.

Channing Phillips, a spokesman for D.C.'s U.S. Attorney's Office, tells WTOP that two people are in custody and should appear in federal court later Thursday.

The FBI is currently serving a search warrant at the office of D.C.'s Chief Technology Officer.

Will he be the latest to be forced to withdraw?