WAMU 88.5 : Morning Edition

Filed Under:

Embattled D.C. Political Donor Receives Millions In City Contracts

Play associated audio
Nearly every D.C. agency has awarded one contract or another to an accounting firm started by Jeffrey Thompson, the political donor who has been tied to hundreds of thousands in campaign donations and who is under federal investigation.  
Adam Fagen (http://www.flickr.com/photos/afagen/5095526890/)
Nearly every D.C. agency has awarded one contract or another to an accounting firm started by Jeffrey Thompson, the political donor who has been tied to hundreds of thousands in campaign donations and who is under federal investigation.  

Federal investigators continue to probe the campaign finance practices of Jeffrey Thompson, one of the District's top political donors. Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been donated to local campaigns over the years by Thompson and his network of companies. In addition, Thompson's companies have been awarded millions of dollars in contracts by the city government.

As owner of District-based Chartered Health Plan, the city's chief Medicaid contractor, Thompson holds the single largest contract in D.C. government history, valued at as much as $322 million per year.

As the Washington Post reported Saturday, Chartered was initially very profitable for Thompson. But the company's bottom line has suffered in recent years. Meanwhile, the accounting firm Thompson started, Thompson Cobb Bazilio and Associates, has also been very successful at winning D.C. government contracts, city records show.

The accounting firm has been awarded nearly $50 million in contracts during the past decade, according to the city's procurement office website. Those contracts span most city agencies, nearly 20 in all.

But since the campaign finance scandal broke, there have been signs of trouble for the company. Thompson withdrew from the accounting firm earlier this month because of the ongoing investigations, according to a letter sent to the firm's clients first reported by WAMU.

And earlier this year, the city's office of the chief financial officer cancelled a lucrative multi-million dollar deal with Thompson Cobb Bazilio and Associates -- although officials say that move had nothing to do with the ongoing scandals. 

Neither Thompson nor any of his associates have been charged with any wrong doing.

Last month, federal grand jury subpoenas were sent out to many lawmakers asking for all campaign finance records connected to Thompson as well as his associate Jeanne Harris, who is head of a communications firm called Details International.

Details International has also been awarded several contracts by city agencies over the years, totaling nearly $140,000. Nearly half of that money was awarded to Details directly by the D.C. Council, including a 2008 contract worth $30,000 for "consulting services."

Thompson Accounting Firm Contracts
NPR

When Caravaggio Plays Quevedo In Tennis, The Court Becomes A Sonnet

"It's a little space, well-measured and precise, in which you have to keep the ball bouncing," says Álvaro Enrigue. His book, Sudden Death, pits the Italian painter against the Spanish poet.
WAMU 88.5

Does "Made in DC" Matter?

D.C.'s first bean-to-bar chocolate maker, Undone Chocolate, got its start in local food incubator space Union Kitchen, part of a wave of interest in locally made products which includes a push for a "Made in DC" logo.

WAMU 88.5

Does "Made in DC" Matter?

D.C.'s first bean-to-bar chocolate maker, Undone Chocolate, got its start in local food incubator space Union Kitchen, part of a wave of interest in locally made products which includes a push for a "Made in DC" logo.

NPR

Video Chat Your Way Into College: How Tech Is Changing The Admissions Process

Virtual reality and other innovations are helping international students and colleges tell if they're a good fit.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.