J. Robert Flores, head of the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Administration during the Bush administration, violated federal ethics and procurement rules in awarding hundreds of thousands of dollars in sole source contracts to ideologically favored companies and individuals, says a new Justice Department inspector general’s report quoted by the Washington Post. No civil or criminal charges will be filed.
The inspector general conducted a review of contract awards in 2007, a year in which Justice Department grant administrators were unburdened by congressional earmarks directing the disbursement of funds. Investigators found little “contemporaneous documentation” to reflect why Flores and Regina Schofield, head of the Office of Justice Programs, chose one group over another. After media reports and a House hearing highlighted the discrepancies, then-Justice Department officials directed subordinates to document their reasons for deviating from the independent peer review process that ranks grant awards.