Convicted former Congressman Randall "Duke" Cunningham urged the Department of Homeland Security to give a $21.1 million contract to a controversial Washington limousine company, but the letter has mysteriously disappeared from DHS files, members of Congress were told Thursday.
The Shirlington Limousine Company is owned by a convicted felon and is under investigation for providing prostitutes at parties attended by Congressman Cunningham and defense lobbyists.
Congressman Peter King, R-NY, said DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff knew of Cunningham's role in recommending the limousine company but never told Congress.
"It's disgraceful that Secretary Chertoff wouldn't tell us he knew Cunningham's role and the owner's criminal record," King said at the hearing. "This is one reason Secretary Chertoff and DHS have a disgraceful record," he said.
DHS officials testified the department, which is responsible for protecting the country from terror attacks, has no way to conduct background checks on companies that bid for contracts.
"Everything at DHS that could go wrong, did go wrong," King said.