Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Ashcroft to testify on no-bid contract

Southwest Missouri's own, former Attorney General John Ashcroft has agreed to testify to Congress about a multi-million dollar no-bid contract that was steered his way by a U. S. attorney in New Jersey, according to an article in the New York Times:

Mr. Ashcroft agreed to testify before the House Judiciary Committee in the face of the committee’s threat to issue a subpoena to compel his testimony. Congressional officials said the committee hoped to schedule the hearing for next month.

Mr. Ashcroft, who left the Justice Department three years ago, had initially declined the committee’s invitation to testify this month about his monitoring contract with the medical-supply company in Indiana, Zimmer Holdings, which agreed to hire an outside monitor in settling accusations that it paid kickbacks to doctors who agreed to use its equipment.

The 18-month monitoring contract, worth $28 million to $52 million, was directed to Mr. Ashcroft’s firm, the Ashcroft Group, by the United States attorney in New Jersey, Christopher J. Christie, without any bidding process.

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