Ashcroft defends lucrative contract

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

03/12/08

Even for a former attorney general, John Ashcroft’s recent bill for monitoring an Indiana company accused of wrongdoing raised eyebrows: a $750,000 monthly fee plus what one member of Congress said amounted to $895 an hour, adding up to more than $7.5 million over five months. An invoice with those charges submitted by Ashcroft’s company sparked debate in a House Judiciary subcommittee Tuesday on how the Justice Department awards such contracts and whether Ashcroft’s selection by a U.S. attorney who once worked for him was a conflict of interest. Ashcroft defended the contract to monitor Zimmer Holdings Inc., one of several manufacturers of orthopedic devices charged last year with violating anti-kickback laws. Under a deferred prosecution agreement with the Justice Department, Zimmer is scheduled to pay Ashcroft’s company between $27 million and $52 million over 18 months...

//tinyurl.com/ys9ele


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp



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