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Jim McElhatton

Jim McElhatton

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

Articles by Jim McElhatton

The seal affixed to the front of the Department of Veterans Affairs building in Washington is seen here on June 21, 2013. The number of military suicides is nearly double that of a decade ago when the U.S. was just a year into the Afghan war and hadn't yet invaded Iraq. While the pace is down slightly this year, it remains worryingly high. The U.S. military and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) acknowledge the grave difficulties facing active-duty and former members of the armed services who have been caught up in the more-than decade-long American involvement in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. (Associated Press)

HOSPITAL HORROR: VA patients treated with bogus medical equipment, supplies

Unauthorized and potentially counterfeit, dangerous surgical devices and medical supplies have flowed unchecked into the Department of Veterans Affairs supply chain and into VA operating rooms, according to internal agency correspondence from a major supplier who blamed new procurement rules. Published November 6, 2014

The FBI headquarters in Washington is seen here on Feb. 3, 2012. (Associated Press)

Federal drug cases falter amid FBI misconduct probe

A federal judge on Thursday tossed all charges against nearly a dozen defendants in a major D.C. heroin trafficking case amid a criminal misconduct probe into an unnamed FBI agent who worked on the case. Published November 6, 2014

The Washington Times first disclosed the criminal charges against Carl Sheerer in August, which came months after IRS Commissioner John Koskinen issued a memo to agency employees describing the data breach. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

IRS employee not guilty of inadvertent disclosures

The IRS employee who mistakenly disclosed personal information on more than 20,000 employees and contractors was found not guilty of criminal charges last week in a case that showed how easily confidential government information can turn up on the Internet. Published November 2, 2014

Army Corps of Engineers logo (Facebook)

Defense firm facing charges in procurement scam

A Virginia-based company with defense and intelligence agency contracts is facing criminal charges that it pa id a corrupt Army procurement official who was recently sent to prison for taking kickbacks. Published October 30, 2014

Rep. Jim Moran received $1,500 through a FedBid PAC, but his office said political donations played no role in his request to reinstate a Veterans Affairs policy. (Associated Press)

Democratic congressman pressured VA to help politically connected contractor

Rep. James P. Moran pressured the Department of Veterans Affairs to overrule one of its own senior procurement executives in 2012 and reinstate a policy that benefited a well-connected contractor, according to government records that show a VA official thought the congressman was stepping out of bounds. Published October 29, 2014

(Associated Press) ** FILE **

Army contractor sentenced to 4 years in prison for bid-rigging scheme

A key official in what prosecutors have called the biggest bid-rigging scheme in U.S. contracting history received a four-year prison sentence Friday, as newly filed sentencing papers provided fresh details about why the scam went undetected for years. Published October 26, 2014

Rep. Darrell Issa, questioned whether IRS employee Takisha McGee lost track of investigative records containing sensitive taxpayer information. - Associated Press

IRS lawyer facing license loss delisted

The Internal Revenue Service has replaced a top lawyer in its Office of Professional Responsibility who faces losing her law license over her work on a years-old personal-injury case. Published October 22, 2014

Researchers at the University of Virginia and other labs say important discoveries that have been made against the deadly Ebola virus could and should be part of the fight against an outbreak in the U.S., but they have to compete for sources of funding. (CDC via Associated Press)

Ebola researchers frustrated by lack of support until outbreak hits

Judith White, who runs a research lab at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, submitted a proposal to the National Institutes of Health to test potential countermeasures against Ebola in March — just as Liberia was confirming its first two cases of the deadly virus. Published October 21, 2014

(AP Photo/Eric Gay)

GAO questions fitness of USIS

The fate of a border security contract worth up to $210 million was thrown into question Monday after the Government Accountability Office told an agency to reconsider whether a contractor facing fraud accusations is qualified for the job. Published October 20, 2014

Visitors line up to enter the Supreme Court in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014, as the justices begin the second week of the new term. The landscape has changed very quickly for gay marriage in the U.S. Last week, the Supreme Court declined to hear appeals from several states seeking to retain their bans on same-sex marriage. The Oct. 6 move effectively legalized gay marriage in about 30 states and triggered a flurry of rulings and confusion in lower courts across the nation. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Supreme Court upholds 18-year sentence for $600 drug deal

The U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition Tuesday from three D.C. drug defendants serving lengthy prison sentences for dealing minor amounts of cocaine, but three justices disagreed — arguing the court missed a key opportunity to rule on an important Sixth Amendment issue. Published October 14, 2014

Passengers stand, most waiting for incoming flights, in the arrivals area at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York, Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014. Health screening procedures were put in place at the airport today to check the health of people arriving from Ebola-affected countries. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

CDC looks to beef up airport screening in Ebola fight

The Centers for Disease Control posted a notice Tuesday seeking airport screeners to work in major U.S. airports and perhaps even overseas as the agency tries to stop the spread of Ebola. Published October 14, 2014

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Tom Frieden said that the diagnosis of 26-year-old nurse Nina Pham should not be an occasion for partisan bickering over the CDC's budget as it relates to Ebola. Despite campaign bluster about cuts, Ebola falls under the CDC's National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases branch, whose funding has grown to more than $390 million in 2014 alone. (Associated Press)

Ebola sparks political battle over research funding

The Ebola finger-pointing kicked into a higher gear Monday as politicians in Washington blamed each other for cutting research funding, even as the federal government's top disease chief apologized for suggesting workers at a Dallas hospital failed to follow protocols, leading to this weekend's first U.S.-contracted case of the deadly virus. Published October 13, 2014

Sybill Mikell has worked making mess trays and other products produced by Lighthouse for the Blind for decades, but shes facing the loss of her job because of a change in government procurement rules. Photo credit: Mary Lou Uttermohlen

Exclusive: Feds take jobs from disabled Americans, send them to Central Asia

Sibyl Mikell has worked in the same New Orleans warehouse by the Mississippi River docks since 1980, one of dozens of blind workers who make the mess trays sent to U.S. military forces overseas — including her own son, who finished his second tour of duty in Afghanistan earlier this year. Published October 9, 2014

"Let Israel win!" Rep. Mike Coffman, Colorado Republican, said that being a supporter of Israel "means that I will stand shoulder to shoulder with Israel in the recognition that Hamas is a terrorist state and that Israel should never negotiate with terrorists." (Associated Press)

VA's loyalty to reverse auction firm FedBid raises red flags

As far back as 2012, a Department of Veterans Affairs advisory board was warning about excessive sway that reverse auction firm FedBid, a well-connected contractor employing former top White House officials, had on VA contracting officers. Published October 8, 2014

VA moves to fire executive for abusing her authority

The Department of Veterans Affairs on Monday proposed firing a high-ranking contracting official involved in a procurement scandal a week after an investigation found she abused her position to try to aid a prominent federal contacting firm. Published October 7, 2014

The EPA, headed by Gina McCarthy, says strontium, which can reduce bone strength among those deficient in calcium, is the latest contaminant to be targeted under the 1974 Safe Drinking Water Act. (Associated Press Photographs)

Issa pushes EPA chief to resolve investigator dispute

Congress's top investigator has told EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to resolve a long-running dispute that Rep. Darrell Issa says is undermining the agency inspector general's ability to investigate misconduct. Published October 6, 2014