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Jim McElhatton

Jim McElhatton no longer works for The Washington Times.

Articles by Jim McElhatton

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

Porn peepers still working at SEC

Despite a get-tough policy coming after 33 cases in the past five years of porn-viewing SEC contractors or employees, no employees have been terminated. Published April 29, 2010

SEC porn peekers at work confess

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission workers who made a habit of looking at pornography on their government computers, even as the economy was tanking, offered varying explanations when caught. Published April 26, 2010

Inmate: 9 years in D.C. Jail like 20 in prison

Few inmates are held at the city jail in Washington, D.C., for even a year before they're sent off to a federal prison or released, but Larry Wilkerson has been locked up there just short of a decade, making him among the longest-serving D.C. Jail inmates. Published April 21, 2010

Taxpayers foot State Department's stiff liquor bill

Months after President Obama urged federal agencies last year to cut wasteful spending, the U.S. Department of State paid $3,814 to fill an order of Jack Daniel's whiskey for gratuities at one of its many overseas embassies. The booze buy wasn't unusual. Published April 15, 2010

Agency spares shame of plagiarists

The paper trail of plagiarism turned up in a university faculty member's Ph.D. dissertation, then in a job application and, eventually, in a proposal for taxpayer-funded research sent to the National Science Foundation. Published April 12, 2010

N.Y. Times still pays Obama's nominee to Army post

The nominee for U.S. Army general counsel, responsible for investigating all military secret leaks to the media, will receive at least $1M before 2015 in deferred compensation from the New York Times Co. even as he works for the government. Published April 1, 2010

IRS seeks 'unpaid liability' from Barry

The Internal Revenue Service has filed a lien against the current D.C. Council member and former longtime mayor of the nation's capital, who has been dogged for years by tax troubles. Published March 25, 2010

Postal exec taps former associate for no-bid pact

The U.S. Postal Service's president of shipping signed off on a no-bid, $4 million consulting contract to a firm partly because it employed a former associate from his days as an executive at pickle producer Vlasic Foods and lawn care giant Scotts Miracle-Gro, records show. Published March 22, 2010

Feds defend $450K for art, design shows

The State Department is poised to spend nearly a half-million dollars on an expense that fiscal watchdogs criticize with the nation's budget picture stuck in the red. Published March 18, 2010

Exports nominee tied to 2 watch list firms

President Obama's pick to oversee export controls at the Commerce Department is a trade lawyer whose recent clients include two companies on a government watch list and a shipping business that agreed to pay millions of dollars last year to resolve a federal probe into shipments to Iran, Sudan and Syria. Published March 12, 2010

Senate hopeful has WWE in her corner

World Wrestling Entertainment, best known for its televised wrestling matches and soap opera story-line plots, was active early in former chief executive Linda McMahon's campaign in Connecticut. Published March 10, 2010

Treasury fails on transparency rules

Timothy F. Geithner promised to make sure the public knew what lobbyists were up to when contacting him about the financial bailouts. But by one important measure, the lobbyists appear to be the more transparent. Published March 4, 2010

VA staffers face discipline over travel, porn

Department of Veterans Affairs investigators are calling for disciplinary action against several officials following an internal probe into the VA's special-events office in Washington. Published March 3, 2010

Coburn: Skip Europe AIDS meeting

An upcoming international AIDS conference in Europe should be canceled, says a Republican senator who wants organizers to use money for travel and meetings on treatment and research instead. Published February 25, 2010

Federal stimulus rules handcuff some agencies

Federal agencies and local and state governments — tasked with spending hundreds of billions of dollars on "shovel ready" projects — are finding that a host of rules governing where, when and how money is spent can lead to significant delays. Published February 22, 2010

Stimulus foes see value in seeking cash

Sen. Christopher S. Bond regularly railed against President Obama's economic stimulus plan as irresponsible spending that would drive up the national debt. But behind the scenes, the Missouri Republican quietly sought more than $50 million from a federal agency for two projects in his state. Published February 9, 2010

SEC workers investigated for porn-surfing

More than two dozen SEC employees and contractors over roughly the past two years have faced internal investigations after they were caught viewing pornography on their government computers, according to records obtained through the Freedom of Information Act and other public documents. Published February 2, 2010

Obama's exports pick tied to arms makers

President Obama's pick to help oversee U.S. export controls for the Commerce Department is a lawyer and political supporter who has been providing export advice to Fortune 500 companies such as arms manufacturer Raytheon and aerospace giant Boeing. Published January 28, 2010