Best of the Week — First Winner
AP reveals DEA chief is being investigated for contracts to past associates
Josh Goodman and Jim Mustian reported exclusively that a federal watchdog is investigating whether the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration under chief Anne Milgram improperly used millions of dollars in no-bid contracts to flout normal governing hiring procedures to hire past associates at a very high cost.
The two followed up on a previous scoop about the arrest of former DEA agent Jose Irizarry, who confessed to laundering money for Colombian drug cartels and skimming millions of dollars from asset seizures and informants.
After an external review of the DEA’s foreign operations was slammed for underplaying its scandals, Latin America reporter Goodman and investigative reporter Mustian began asking questions.
What they found was that a Washington law firm that was hired as part of a no-bid contract did the review, and that its author was the former right-hand man to one of Milgram’s closest friends, former Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. That led to more reporting, more questions and more sources talking about how the DEA used other no-bid contracts to hire Milgram’s past associates.
For expert source reporting that holds accountable the DEA and its highest-ranking official, Goodman and Mustian win Best of the Week — First Winner.