The Washington Post‘s Charles Babcock and Renae Merle break news tonight on how MZM Inc.’s Mitchell Wade spun a $40,000 Pentagon contract into over $170 million in work, using bribery, personal favors to lawmakers and Defense officials, lavish recruiting practices, strongarm practices and hiring big-name principals.
Wade has confessed to felony charges of bribery and corruption in connection to the Randy “Duke” Cunningham scandal.
Wade’s tactics made him a power player within the Defense world, the Post team reports. Here’s how he was perceived by Pentagon employees:
According to excerpts of e-mails collected by a Pentagon employee and provided to The Washington Post, one contract official inaccurately thought Wade was a former undersecretary of defense. Another wrote that “Mitch Wade is a force to be reckonned (sic) with . . . he has a lot of perceived power that can slow us down . . . maybe even grind us to a halt.”
For a long time, details about just what Mitchell Wade’s company was doing for their $170 million have been very difficult to come by. Now that ball of yarn is unraveling, and the more we learn, the more we want to know.