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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

Berwick

Medicare chief set with hefty retirement sum

President Obama's decision to name Dr. Donald Berwick the country's chief Medicare officer by recess appointment means senators won't get a chance to question him anytime soon about a nonprofit job that has boosted his profile and personal fortunes. Published July 8, 2010

Berwick

Obama nominee heralded despite 'honorary' titles

When the White House announced Dr. Donald Berwick as President Obama's choice to lead the $800 billion Medicare and Medicaid agency in April, officials hailed his long list of credentials. But Dr. Berwick hasn't seen a patient in years. Published July 6, 2010

Bernstock

Postal boss was not sent packing

The former $232,500-per-year president of shipping and mailing for the U.S. Postal Service regularly worked on outside corporate business while in the office, even enlisting his postal staff to schedule meetings and arrange for his private travel, postal investigators have found. Published June 30, 2010

OUT OF THE LOOP: Steven E. Koonin, an undersecretary at the Department of Energy, cannot have anything to do with the BP remediation. (U.S. Department of Energy)

Ex-BP official received payouts, perks

Steven E. Koonin, undersecretary for science at the Department of Energy, reported receiving a host of lucrative corporate payouts and perks when he left his job as chief scientist at oil giant BP last year to join the Obama administration. Published June 27, 2010

Screen capture of United Medical Center's Web site (Courtesy of united-medicalcenter.com)

Hospital company faces more tax bills

United Medical Center, a Southeast Washington hospital facing millions of dollars in unpaid tax bills despite receiving $100 million in city funds since 2007, isn't the only financial challenge looming for its parent company, Specialty Hospitals of America. Published June 22, 2010

Screen capture of United Medical Center's Web site (Courtesy of united-medicalcenter.com)

Hospital's owners paid lobbyists as tax bill rose

The parent company of United Medical Center, which has received about $100 million from D.C. taxpayers, continued paying big fees to its lobbyists even as millions of dollars in taxes went unpaid. Published June 20, 2010

A revolving door (The Washington Times)

Job door revolves despite fed rule

Though President Obama enacted new revolving-door ethics rules soon after taking office requiring a two-year "cooling off" period for appointees leaving the government, those regulations apply only to incoming appointees. Published June 16, 2010

Tony Podesta

Numerous lobbyists do BP's bidding

Weeks after the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico began, the fundraising arm for Senate Democrats circulated a petition to hold BP "accountable" while accusing Republicans of making excuses for "bad environmental actors." Published June 13, 2010

Earmarks gained by chairmanships don't help firms

New research is upending the idea that as a state's congressional delegation grows more powerful, the windfall of increasing earmarks it's able to secure helps grow private business in its home state. Published June 7, 2010

Lawmakers got fed funds for fancy frontage

With a rooftop pool and 24-hour concierge service, the new luxury condominiums off Frank Sinatra Drive here seem an unlikely spot in need of a multimillion-dollar federal giveaway. Published June 7, 2010

** FILE ** An Amtrak train switches tracks in St. Louis after arriving from Chicago in 2010.  (Associated Press)

Amtrak 'misled' Congress on finances

When Amtrak assured Congress it was on a "glide path" to free itself of federal subsidies early last decade, a handful of top executives secretly had reason to know better. Published May 31, 2010

FBI releases Murtha records

The FBI on Tuesday released hundreds of pages of records concerning late Pennsylvania Democratic Congressman John Murtha, but declined to make public any information about an ongoing investigation into allegations of kickbacks involving defense contractors. Published May 25, 2010

**FILE** Rep. John P. Murtha (AP Photo)

Despite death, Murtha probe continues

The FBI investigation into allegations of kickbacks involving defense contractors and Rep. John P. Murtha remains open despite the death in February of the Pennsylvania Democratic congressman, government records show. Published May 25, 2010

IG report: Amtrak paid hotel bills for locals

Citing the distractions of home life, Amtrak spent tens of thousands of dollars on hotel rooms and meals for 10 employees attending classes for train directors in Chicago — despite the fact each of the employees already lived and worked in the Chicago area. Published May 24, 2010

IG report: Amtrak paid hotel bills for locals

Amtrak spent tens of thousands of dollars on hotel rooms and meals for 10 employees attending classes for train directors in Chicago — despite the fact each of the employees already lived and worked in the Chicago area. Published May 23, 2010

'Little Madoff' on lam almost a year later

Nearly one year ago, Alma Preciado, a once-prominent figure in Maryland politics and an area mortgage broker, listened as a judge called her Montgomery County's own "little Bernie Madoff." The judge told her to return $350,000 to a retired couple who lost their savings in a business deal with her or get ready to go to jail. Published May 17, 2010

Postal chief who OK'd no-bid pacts to step down

The U.S. Postal Service's top marketing officer resigned Tuesday after increasing scrutiny into no-bid contracts he approved, including one to a former associate from his days as an executive at pickle producer Vlasic Foods. Published May 13, 2010

Lawsuit wants SEC to ID porn snoopers

The Securities and Exchange Commission is facing a lawsuit for keeping secret the names of dozens of its employees and contractors who spent their workdays looking at pornography on their government computers. Published May 11, 2010

Obama's 'open government' hides transition data

Top officials at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy say they're proud to promote a culture of open government, but by one measure, the agency is decidedly on the side of keeping information secret. Published May 6, 2010

Feds run off track with Pentagon transit perk

Federal officials failed to keep track of how they doled out millions of dollars in transit benefits paid for Washington-area Pentagon employees to get to and from work, resulting in overpayments, double dipping and questionable public transit fares, a recent Pentagon review has found. Published May 4, 2010