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Jim McElhatton

Jim McElhatton

Jim McElhatton is an investigative reporter for The Washington Times. He can be reached at

Articles by Jim McElhatton

**FILE** People wait in line at the U.S. Postal Service Airport station in Los Angeles on Dec. 19, 2011. (Assocaited Press)

Watchdog looks at cost of 'flat rate' ads for USPS

A recent audit into Postal Service advertising expenditures for fiscal 2011 has uncovered millions of dollars in questionable costs as postal officials pushed hard to publicize shipping products in the face of sharply declining first-class mail volume. Published January 14, 2013

**FILE** Solyndra headquarters in Fremont, Calif. (Associated Press)

Solyndra consultants pursue pay for tax work

With its bankruptcy case ended and its failure faded from headlines, solar panel maker Solyndra LLC appears set to receive a big reduction in years worth of overdue property tax bills, potentially setting up tax consultants with a hefty seven-figure payday. Published January 9, 2013

**FILE** White House Treasury Secretary Jack Lew (Associated Press)

Citigroup tenure lucrative for Lew

Jack Lew, President Obama's presumed choice to lead the Treasury Department, has close ties to Wall Street, receiving more than $900,000 in bonus cash from a division of Citigroup Inc. just as the company was getting bailed out by U.S. taxpayers. Published January 9, 2013

**FILE** An A123 Systems Inc. logo is seen here in Livonia, Mich., on Aug. 6, 2010. (Associated Press)

Money-back guarantee eyed on Energy Department loans

A House Republican announced plans Tuesday to introduce a bill to make sure that companies backed by federal Energy Department loans or grants pay the money back if they're going to be taken over by a "non-allied foreign nation." Published January 8, 2013

**FILE** President Obama pauses during a statement on the fiscal cliff negotiations with congressional leaders in the briefing room of the White House on Dec. 28, 2012. (Associated Press)

Dormant liberties agency awakens to tasks

A presidentially appointed panel charged with ensuring federal laws don't impede Americans' civil liberties has nothing to show for itself in recent years, failing to meet even once during a five-year span because vacancies had left the board dormant for so long. Published January 7, 2013

** FILE ** An A123 Systems Inc. logo is shown in Livonia, Mich., in 2009. (Associated Press)

Creditors want help with A123 sale to Chinese

Creditors of a bankrupt U.S. battery maker that went broke after winning a multimillion-dollar federal grant want permission to hire a lobbying firm to keep the proposed sale of the company to a Chinese competitor on track. Published January 2, 2013

Securities industry ban asked for executive

A Washington-area executive accused in a lawsuitof bilking millions of dollars from a charity founded more than 200 years ago by Dolley Madison is facing a lifetime ban from the securities industry. Published December 25, 2012

FEC pressed to probe Dish TV chief

A watchdog group wants federal election regulators to investigate whether the head of a major satellite-television company forced company executives to donate to prominent Democratic campaigns in recent years. Published December 20, 2012

Cars are parked in the lot outside the Dick's Sporting Goods store in Cranberry, Pa. on Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012. The sporting goods chain says it's suspending sales of modern rifles nationwide because of the school shooting in Connecticut. They also say it's removing all guns from display at its store closest to Newtown, where the massacre took place.(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

Dick’s pulls some guns; investing firm sells stock in arms

Even amid reports of many Americans scrambling to buy guns, a major sporting goods chain suspended sales of some of its semi-automatic guns Tuesday while an investment firm moved to sell off a company whose rifle was reportedly used in last week’s attack at a Connecticut elementary school. Published December 18, 2012

Sen. Jeff Bingaman reported the Dec. 3 sale of between $250,001 and $500,000 in HSBC stock on forms he filed with the Senate on Dec. 8. Three days later, HSBC announced it agreed to the record settlement. (Associated Press)

Senator reports stock sale before HSBC settlement

Days before news broke this week that HSBC Holdings agreed to pay nearly $2 billion in fines to settle a federal money-laundering probe, a veteran Democratic senator disclosed selling off at least a quarter-million dollars worth of the company's stock, records show. Published December 11, 2012

** FILE ** An A123 Systems Inc. logo is shown in Livonia, Mich., in 2009. (Associated Press)

Chinese firm gets OK to buy A123’s assets

A judge approved a deal Tuesday for a Chinese company to buy the assets of a bankrupt U.S. battery maker that won a quarter-billion-dollar grant from the federal government just three years ago. Published December 11, 2012

**FILE** The Department of Health and Human Services building is seen in Washington on April 5, 2009. (Associated Press)

HHS appointee a familiar face

President Obama campaigned on a pledge to close the revolving door between special interests and government in Washington, but the career trajectory of the man he has picked to fill the top legal job at the Department of Health and Human Services shows the door hasn't completely stopped spinning. Published December 11, 2012

**FILE** An A123 Systems Inc. logo is seen Aug. 6, 2010, in Livonia, Mich. (Associated Press)

U.S. wary of Chinese bidder for bankrupt battery maker

Democratic and Republican politicians alike hailed the news in 2009 that U.S. battery maker A123 Systems had won a quarter-billion-dollar federal grant, but just three years later, the company finds itself bankrupt and the target of a buyout by a Chinese competitor. Published December 10, 2012

Dispute over federal loan to wireless firm settled

A bankruptcy trustee and government lawyers have settled accusations that the Obama administration mishandled a multimillion-dollar loan awarded to a wireless company in the waning days of the George W. Bush administration, leading the business to go broke and lay off hundreds of workers. Published December 5, 2012

Tesla Motors has 24 stores in the world, including this one at a mall in Portland, Ore. It received a $465 million loan from the U.S. Department of Energy, and President Obama has praised the company. (Associated Press)

U.S. electric-car maker praised by Obama probed over foreign parts

The year after President Obama singled out the company for creating lots of American jobs, California-based Tesla Motors became the focus of a federal probe into whether the automaker was using foreign instead of American parts in manufacturing their electric vehicles, records show. Published December 3, 2012