- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 12, 2009


President Barack Obama’s pick for federal chief information officer is on leave from his position following a raid by federal agents of his former offices and the arrest of two men in connection with a D.C. government corruption scandal.

Speaking on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing, a White House official said Vivek Kundra is on leave from his post “until further details become known.”

Mr. Kundra served as D.C. Chief Technology Officer from 2007 until this year, when Mr. Obama selected him for the newly-created position.

FBI agents raided the Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) Thursday. Yusuf Acar, an OCTO employee, and Sushil Bansal, the chief executive officer of a D.C.-based information technology consulting company, have been arrested and appeared in U.S. District Court Thursday on charges of conspiracy to commit bribery and money laundering.

Mr. Kundra is not a target of the investigation, a source said, although FBI spokeswoman Lindsay Godwin said she could not comment on whether Mr. Kundra was tied to the case.

Affidavit for Acar arrest warrant (PDF)

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said the administration was aware that the morning raid would take place but declined to answer questions about whether the president was confident Mr. Kundra was not involved in the probe. He said he would not comment on an ongoing investigation.

Mr. Gibbs directed questions to the Justice Department after repeated followups from reporters during his daily briefing, refusing to say if Mr. Obama was concerned about the investigation.

“Obviously, this is a serious matter,” he said.

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