Phil Washington, Joe Biden’s nominee to head the Federal Aviation Administration, was just served with a warrant in a criminal case.
President Biden’s nominee to head the FAA, Phil Washington, had a warrant served this morning in the criminal case involving his previous role at Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority.
Washington is the current head of Denver International Airport. The Denver City Council approved hiring him despite a criminal investigation covering his prior role in Los Angeles where a whistleblower – that Washington calls a disgruntled employee – claims there was a corrupt contracting process. In particular several no-bid contracts for LA Metro’s sexual harassment hotline were awarded at a cost of over $8,000 per call to a charity led to a friend and donor of Metro board member and L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. She says the contract decision was Washington’s.
Whether there was actual, prosecutable corruption, or mere incompetence – and whether Washington was involved in any corruption or simply a hands-off manager – the scenarios and optics here do not look good for his nomination or for the Biden administration.
The case is surrounding an “ongoing public corruption investigation.”
Under scrutiny is a no-bid contract that the county’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority gave to a non-profit with ties to County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl.
Washington was the head of the agency when the contract was given.
LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva has asked for an investigation into whether Sheila Kuehl was tipped off before the search.
LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva on Wednesday evening asked California Attorney General Rob Bonta to open an investigation into Democrat Supervisor Sheila Kuehl being tipped off that a search warrant was going to be served at her home.
Democrat LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl was served with a search warrant at her Santa Monica home on Wednesday morning amid an “ongoing public corruption investigation.”
According to the affidavit, the search warrant is related to a no-bid contract for $890,000 awarded to Peace Over Violence – a non-profit who just happens to be run by one of Kuehl’s close friends.
GOP Senator Roger Wicker called for more scrutiny over Biden’s nominee saying “this nominee’s credibility will also be a key focus of the committee.”
Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker, the top Republican on the Senate Commerce Committee, called Wednesday for additional scrutiny of Washington’s nomination in light of the probe. Wicker said he is “deeply troubled to learn the nominee was named in a search warrant that ties him to allegations of corruption at LA Metro.”
“I anticipate that this nominee’s credibility will also be a key focus of the committee,” Wicker said in a statement. A spokesperson for Wicker’s personal office and the committee did not respond to further requests for comment.