Obama's CIO Takes Leave Amid FBI Probe - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Government // Enterprise Architecture
News
3/13/2009
10:19 AM
50%
50%

Obama's CIO Takes Leave Amid FBI Probe

Federal authorities are investigating alleged bribery ring at Vivek Kundra's former D.C. office.

While the FBI investigates allegations of bribery and money laundering in his former workplace, federal CIO Vivek Kundra has taken leave from his job.

Just days after his appointment by President Barack Obama as the nation's top technology official, Kundra departed for an unspecified period. The White House Press Office confirmed his leave Friday, a day after the arrest of a District of Columbia employee who worked under Kundra last year.

A criminal complaint against 40-year-old Yusuf Acar accuses him of one count each of conspiracy to commit bribery, money laundering, wire fraud, and conflict of interest.

Kundra has not been accused of, or charged with, any crimes and law enforcement sources said Friday that he has not been implicated.

Court records state that Acar, the District's information system security officer, engaged in a variety of schemes to funnel money from contracts and payroll by filing inflated invoices and forging timecards for ghost employees.

The affidavit for arrest indicates that several other people were involved, although most were identified by initials only and at least one District of Columbia employee apparently cooperated with authorities.

Former city employee Sushil Bansal, 41, is the only other person who has been arrested, but the investigation is ongoing. The criminal complaint against Bansal alleges one count of conspiracy to commit bribery and one count of conspiracy to launder money. He has been released and admonished not to engage in foreign transactions.

It is unclear whether others identified in court records were aware of the alleged schemes and whether they were outside contractors or government employees.

Neither Kundra's name nor his initials appear anywhere in court records that were unsealed Thursday after Acar's arrest. Employees with the District of Columbia said they don't believe Kundra has been implicated, and sources with the Office of Management and Budget said Thursday that they aren't aware of any suspicion directed at Kundra.

However, at the very least, the charges could represent a distraction while Kundra attempts to ensure security and accountability for all of the federal government's technology and IT systems. He served as the District of Columbia's CTO in 2008, overseeing Acar and nearly 300 other employees, when the criminal activity allegedly occurred.

Neither the OMB nor the White House would immediately respond to questions about the reasons for Kundra's leave, the length of it, nor who will take over his responsibilities. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters Thursday that the administration was aware of the investigation but he would not say when they learned about it. He referred to it as a "serious matter."

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Previous
1 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Commentary
2021 Outlook: Tackling Cloud Transformation Choices
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  1/4/2021
News
Enterprise IT Leaders Face Two Paths to AI
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  12/23/2020
Slideshows
10 IT Trends to Watch for in 2021
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  12/22/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you.
Slideshows
Flash Poll