Find Post Investigations On:
Facebook Scribd Twitter
Friendfeed RSS Google Reader
» About This Blog | Meet the Investigative Team | Subscribe
Ongoing Investigation

Top Secret America

The Post explores the top secret world the government created in response to the attacks of Sept. 11.

Ongoing Investigation

The Hidden Life of Guns

How guns move through American society, from store counter to crime scene.

Have a Tip?

Talk to Us

If you have solid tips, news or documents on potential ethical violations or abuses of power, we want to know. Send us your suggestions.
• E-mail Us


Post Investigations
In-depth investigative news
and multimedia from The Washington Post.
• Special Reports
• The Blog

Reporters' Notebook
An insider's guide to investigative news: reporters offer insights on their stories.

The Daily Read
A daily look at investigative news of note across the Web.

Top Picks
A weekly review of the best
in-depth and investigative reports from across the nation.

Hot Documents
Court filings, letters, audits and other documents of interest.

D.C. Region
Post coverage of investigative news in Maryland, Virginia and the District.

Washington Watchdogs
A periodic look into official government investigations.

Help! What Is RSS?
Find out how to follow Post Investigations in your favorite RSS reader.

Hot Comments

Unfortunately I believe that we are limited in what we can focus on. I think that if we proceed with the partisan sideshow of prosecuting Bush admin. officials, healthcare will get lost in the brouhaha.
— Posted by denamom, Obama's Quandary...

Recent Posts
Bob Woodward

The Washington Post's permanent investigative unit was set up in 1982 under Bob Woodward.

See what you missed, find what you're looking for.
Blog Archive »
Investigations Archive »

Have a Tip?
Send us information on ethics violations or abuses of power.
E-Mail Us »

Notable investigative projects from other news outlets.
On the Web »
Top Picks »

Two Richardson Aides Are Focus of Probe

POSTED: 05:49 PM ET, 01/ 7/2009 by Derek Kravitz

The ongoing probe into New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson's potential "quid pro quo" deal with a campaign contributor is focusing on two former aides to the one-time commerce secretary nominee.

Federal prosecutors are investigating the role of David Contarino, Richardson's former chief of staff, in the awarding of a $1.5 million consulting contract to CDR Financial Products Inc., Bloomberg reports. Richardson's ties to the California boutique firm, which contributed to the governor's political-action committees, are the subject of a grand jury investigation.

Richardson's staff is defending the 47-year-old Contarino, calling him a "key part of the progress in New Mexico." Contarino, a title company owner in Santa Fe, managed the Democrat's 2008 presidential campaign, ran the governor's first gubernatorial campaign and served as his chief of staff from 2003 through 2006.

Currently, no one has been charged with wrongdoing as a part of the grand jury's review. Richardson withdrew his name from consideration as President-elect Barack Obama's commerce secretary, citing the CDR probe.

Meanwhile, another top Richardson aide -- senior political adviser Michael Stratton -- worked for CDR as a consultant and reportedly lobbied the New Mexico Finance Authority to give the contract to the firm, sources told both Bloomberg News and The Associated Press.

Stratton, now a Denver-based political consultant, worked for JPMorgan Chase in 2003 and 2004 to help win public-finance business in New Mexico. Colorado state Sen. Chris Romer, the son of Colorado's former governor and also a Richardson campaign contributor, was the lead banker on those deals and told the Denver Post that he interviewed with the FBI this past fall.

By Derek Kravitz |  January 7, 2009; 5:49 PM ET
Previous: What a Week for Burris | Next: Government Calls Madoff a 'Danger', Satyam Scandle Rattles India, SEC Reopens Pequot Probe


Please email us to report offensive comments.

The concerns that arises from the Bill Richardson withdrawal is one that must be investigated by the Obama Transition and by the media: since July 2008 the Albuquerque newspapers were publishing stories about Richardson pay for play allege behavior!
What happened that the Transition staff did not searched these stories in the Albuquerque papers? How did they missed them? This is a serious flaw of due diligence that should be corrected!

Franklin D. Lopez
San Juan,PR

Posted by: franklinlopez46 | January 8, 2009 7:05 AM

We would be in trouble if the future of mankind were to depend on the success of finding one honest man in Gammorah. New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson's political resume is nothing short of stellar, yet now he is subject to the possibility of a government investigative committee probe. I sincerely hope that his reputation will remain intact. However, I am also keeping my fingers crossed. Perhaps I should sacrifice a lamb,.. light a mennorah. Better yet, maybe I should take a religous pilgrimage to Chimayo!
I really do hope for the best.

Posted by: stockhause | January 8, 2009 4:11 PM

Excerpt from the book Wall Street Dancers

Excerpt from Wall Street Dancers

In the settlement with the SEC my testimony is not included and I neither confirm nor deny the SEC's findings. They were benevolent in the settlement so I have no complaint. On december 12, 2007 I concluded testimony for the SEC in further proceedings regarding the State Treasury of New Mexico. On December 13, 2007, the day after I testified, the headlines of the Albuquerque Journal read, "Feds Were On A witch Hunt For Governor"(referring to Governor Bill Richardson). It's not a witch hunt. They know where the money trail leads. They will just have a difficult time proving it.

Posted by: wallstreetdancer | January 10, 2009 12:11 PM

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.

characters remaining


© 2010 The Washington Post Company