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

'Swiss Army Man' Directors Explain The Symbolism Behind A Farting Corpse

The directors of Swiss Army Man — Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert — talk to NPR's Kelly McEvers about what inspired them to make a movie about a flatulent corpse, and the deeper meaning behind it.
NPR

Can Arnold Schwarzenegger Persuade China To Eat Less Meat?

Like the U.S., China is battling obesity and climate change. So it's urging citizens to eat less meat — and spreading the word with public service ads featuring Hollywood stars.
NPR

Kansas Votes More Money For Public Schools To Avert Shutdown

Legislators, pressured by the state Supreme Court, passed a $38 million package for the state's underfunded schools. Justices had threatened to close all public schools in Kansas after this month.
NPR

Shock, Rage And Gallows Humor: A Brexit Backlash On Social Media

Young voters had overwhelmingly voted to remain in the European Union. Now there's a flood of anger from those who accuse older generations of choosing a future they don't want.

Leave a Comment

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