How Abramoff Pulled White House Strings
A rare glimpse into the behind-the-scenes string pulling that allowed disgraced superlobbyist Jack Abramoff to negotiate the firing of a State Department official is examined today by The Post's R. Jeffrey Smith.
Abramoff, now serving a nearly six-year federal prison sentence for fraud, tax evasion and conspiracy, and his colleagues at the Washington office of the lobbying firm of Greenberg Traurig successfully pushed White House aides to remove Allen P. Stayman from his negotiating post at the State Department. Among the key players in Stayman's removal were
Susan Ralston, executive assistant to political adviser Karl Rove; Monica Kladakis, then deputy White House personnel chief; and Ken Mehlman, then the White House political director.
A look at where some of those figures are now:
-- Kladakis now works as a managing director at the Millennium Challenge Corp., a Bush initiative to increase development assistance to some poor nations, along with Douglas G. Fehrer, a former White House personnel director who helped deal with the Styman problem.
-- (UPDATED): Mehlman has been a partner at Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. since April.
-- Ralston, who resigned in October 2006 after disclosures that she accepted gifts from and passed information to Abramoff, is president of her own Woodbridge, Va.-based political consulting firm, SBR Enterprises, according to her LinkedIn profile. Filings with the Commonwealth of Virginia indicate Ralston runs the business out of her home.
-- Stayman is now a staff member with the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
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