As Josh mentioned yesterday, Shirlington Limousine had quite a sketchy history (even excluding the prostitutes) to be receiving a $21 million contract with the Department of Homeland Security.
Well, here's one more bit of sketch to add to the mix.
On two different occasions, Shirlington had its federal license, called the motor passenger common carrier authority, revoked by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. It was first revoked on September 11, 2000 and reinstated April 4, 2001, and then again revoked June 13, 2005 and reinstated October 31, 2005.
What does that mean? Basically it means that they weren't allowed to cross state lines during those periods.
But it's a little more complicated than that, so I talked to Ian Grossman of the FMCSA. To get all bureaucratic on you, a carrier without that authority cannot carry passengers outside of their "commercial zone." In the case of Washington, D.C., the zone extends 15 miles in all directions beyond D.C.. It also includes Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William counties, as well as the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park in Virginia.
Here's what this adds up to. Shirlington got their wings clipped (or tires slashed - choose your metaphor) in April, 2005, just prior to winning that huge DHS contract in October of 2005.
So during the months when DHS would have presumably been evaluating Shirlington's fitness to ferry senior officials around, their cars couldn't take passengers far outside D.C. You'd think that would be a problem if a DHS official needed to be taken to Baltimore-Washington International Airport for example.
This was the best company DHS could find?