Wade Pushed Contracting Practices to the Limit:


The Washington Post provides the story behind the rise and fall of Mitchell Wade, the defense contractor convicted of bribing ex-Rep. Duke Cunningham and defense department officials, and passing along illegal donations to two other lawmakers. Wade, who learned the intricacies of the procurement process from working as a civilian worker at the Pentagon and as an apprentice to Brent Wilkes, another contractor implicated in the Cunningham bribery, took existing practices and pushed them to the limit to become a contracting powerhouse. Wade “aggressively used the ‘revolving door’ between the government’s defense and intelligence bureaucracy and the private industry,” hiring “top talent” and “freely distributed title and rank, appointing more than 100 vice presidents, executive vice presidents and ‘senior executive vice presidents’” while paying higher wages than any other defense contractor would offer for officials with security clearances. Wade found the global war on terrorism good for business as a Knight Ridder report shows that the Pentagon hired his MZM to “collect data on houses of worship, schools, power plants and other locations in the United States.”