[I]t's time to meet Robert Stein, former controller and financial officer for the American occupation in Iraq. During the U.S. occupation, the Department of Justice claims that Stein accepted kickbacks, bribes and gratuities amounting to $200,000 per month. While the United States intended to spend the money completing projects like new police training facilities, Stein spent it on new cars, expensive jewelry and home improvements.
Even better is Stein's sketchy history, which includes forged resumes and an eight-month jail sentence for a felony conviction. In a move that was both deft and cunning, Stein wired Iraq bribe money to pay a portion of his felony restitution fee. . . . While the Bush administration seems to be stuck on the hire-who-you-know strategy, it seems high time our government start using the techniques human resources departments across the country use every day. For example, the "have you ever been convicted of a felony?" question seems to help McDonald's find trustworthy, competent employees. Why not pose this question to potential federal employees who will oversee $82 million worth of development contracts?
The reference check is another fail-safe. Had the feds called Stein's previous employer in Florida, they would have discovered that he falsified his resume and forged payroll documents, which resulted in a $1.5 million overbidding error. Or they could have just talked with the vice president of Marine Construction Company, who told the New York Times that Stein was "a thief, a con artist and a crook."
The current administration is apparently so corrupt that men like Stein and the screw ups that put him in a position of power don't even make headlines anymore.