DEA Chief Under Fire: What We Know About the Probe Into No-Bid Contracts and Hiring

by Joshua Brown
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People in the government started asking questions to Anne Milgram, who is the leader of the U.S Drug Enforcement Administration Thursday. This was because some contracts worth a lot of money were not given as part of a bidding process and an investigation is going to look into if Milgram hired people she knew before without proper approval.

The DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) is in trouble because it spent a lot of money – $4.7 million – on hiring people that the boss, Milgram, knew from her previous job and university. These people were paid more than government officials usually get. This has caused an uproar with some folks in Congress.

Rep. Andrew Clyde from Georgia said that everyone should be treated as innocent until proven guilty. But the reports accusing people of doing something wrong are very convincing. A GOP senator is looking into why the DEA boss gave out no-bid contracts and hired some people without properly checking them out first. The DEA chief is currently being investigated for giving out ‘swampy’ hires and no-bid contracts. People have even accused the DEA’s most corrupt agent of having parties, sex, and engaging in an ‘unwinnable war’.

Rep. Mike Garcia from California said he thinks the current job of the DEA is not being done well and that it’s “offensive” to say otherwise.

DEA Chief Milgram stated she welcomes an investigation by the Justice Department about some contracts that were signed since her time in charge. She wouldn’t answer questions about any allegations made or if she’s a target of this investigation.

The inspector general is looking into some DEA contracts and the speaker said they are happy about it. The person asked if this means that she is taking the Fifth, but she said no.

The Inspector General is looking closely at a contract for $1.4 million given to a law firm in Washington D.C. The purpose of this money was to examine the DEA’s foreign operations which had drawn attention due to scandals. Unfortunately, people thought that too little attention was paid to agents who did something wrong and how the government can prevent it from happening again. This review was co-written by Boyd Johnson, who used to be the assistant of Preet Bharara, a close friend of Milgram’s. Coincidentally, Bharara ended up working for the same law firm just as the review was ending.

Clyde asked Kirsten Milgram, the person in charge of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), about some troubling reports that do not match with DEA’s purpose. She replied that she only got to know Johnson after being chosen by the White House for such role.

Ms. Milgram recalls working before with Jose Cordero in New Jersey and within three weeks of her confirmation, he was given a nearly $400k contract to handle crime data analysis… all without a proper bidding process! Milgram added that “Mr. Cordero worked with me previously on reducing violence.”

Mrs. Milgram visited Capitol Hill to ask the government for more money to fight the fentanyl problem, which had caused more than 107,000 people to overdose last year. People were not happy with how President Biden was dealing with China and Mexico on this issue. They also questioned how Mrs. Milgram was managing issues caused by her workers in the field.

Recently, Jose Irizarry got caught doing something illegal and was sent to prison for 12 years. Jose had laundered money from Colombian drug cartels, skimmed money from asset seizures and informant payments, and used it all to travel around, enjoy fancy meals, throw parties, and hire prostitutes. The DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) has now made changes in the disciplinary process of their organization which is different from what they did before.

She asked: “How can we upgrade our system to make it easier for people in the inspection division to see what’s going on with money laundering investigations? We used to track and record everything, but now we need a ‘real time’ system instead”.___

Goodman reported from Miami and Mustian reported from New York.

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