The Biden administration’s Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) chief is under investigation for allegedly handing no-bid contracts worth millions of dollars to previous colleagues, The Associated Press reported Thursday, citing sources familiar with the probe.
The Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General is conducting the investigation after at least a dozen employees, including some of DEA Administrator Anne Milgram’s previous associates, were hired under the contracts, according to the AP. One portion of the probe centers around $4.7 million for “strategic planning and communication” contracts handed to Milgram’s previous colleagues from the New Jersey attorney general’s office and at New York University, where she served as a professor, that exceeded the pay for government employees. (RELATED: Biden Admin Announces Charges Against Notorious Mexican Cartel Leaders)
“Some of these deals look very swampy,” Scott Amey, general counsel of the nonpartisan Project on Government Oversight, said of the months-long probe, according to the AP.
The work the associates have been tasked with involves handling intelligence, data analytics, community outreach and public relations, according to the AP.
One of the contracts went to Milgram’s previous state director of gangs, guns and violent crime when she served as New Jersey attorney general, Jose Cordero, a veteran New York City police official, according to the AP. Within weeks of starting her job at the DEA, Milgram gave Cordero a data analysis crime stats contract now worth roughly $400,000.
“Contracts should never be awarded based on who you know,” Amey said, according to the AP.
The DEA said in a statement that it’s working toward a noble vision to crack down on major national security threats, according to the AP.
“DEA has acted with urgency to set a new vision, target the global criminal networks responsible for hundreds of thousands of American deaths, raise public awareness about how just one pill can kill, and promote and recruit hundreds of highly talented people,” it said, according to the AP. “These changes have been made through an extensive and multi-part process, and we are committed to ensuring that DEA is working relentlessly to protect the national security, safety, and health of the American people.”
A DEA spokesperson didn’t immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment. The OIG’s office couldn’t be reached for comment.
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