Pentagon drops scandal-tainted contract

Aug. 1, 2006 at 11:00 AM
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 1 (UPI) -- The U.S. Pentagon is not renewing a contract with a Virginia intelligence company with links to a bribery and campaign finance scandal.

In a statement, the Pentagon said it would no longer be working with the Foreign Supplier Assessment Center in Martinsville, Va., as there are at least four other government entities that do the same work, The Washington Post reported.

The company, which employs about 30 people, researched the ownership of foreign companies that had contracts with Pentagon agencies.

The original contract in 2003 went to MZM Corp., whose former president, Mitchell Wade, has pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit bribery and election contribution fraud in connection with donations of $90,000 to the campaign of U.S. Rep. Virgil Goode Jr., R-Va.

Funding to start the company came from legislation Goode attached to a piece of legislation in 2003.

Court papers associated with Wade's guilty plea said Goode received contributions from Wade that were disguised to appear as if they had come from MZM employees in 2003 and 2005. The documents claim Wade did not inform Goode or his staff that the donations were illegal.

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