Bloggers aren’t the only ones in pajamas

posted at 9:32 am on March 17, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

For bloggers, pajamas have become the default dress code, an inside joke adopted after CNN’s Jonathan Klein tried to dismiss us as irrelevant for supposedly working in them.  For the stylish young corruptocrat, though, pajamas make for a comfy getaway strategy.  Prosecutors revealed in a bond hearing yesterday that Yusuf Acar, the man at the center of a bribery and corruption scandal at DC’s Office of the CTO, stashed thousands in his PJs just before his arrest:

A D.C. technology manager accused of operating a complex bribery and kickback scheme had more than $4,500 inside pajamas he was wearing when he was arrested last week, and he told an informant that he had given $100,000 in cash to his mother to take back to his native Turkey, federal prosecutors said.

Prosecutors disclosed the details in a court filing yesterday that urged a federal judge to keep Yusuf Acar, 40, in jail. They said they are concerned that he might flee if released before his trial.

Acar “has the motive, skills and wherewithal to flee and thrive on the lam,” Assistant U.S. Attorneys Thomas Hibarger and Glenn S. Leon wrote.

Acar is accused of using his position as acting chief security officer at the D.C. Office of the Chief Technology Officer to steer contracts to companies for bribes, awarding contracts to a firm in which he had a financial stake and accepting kickbacks for hiring “ghost” employees.

Acar worked directly for Vivek Kundra, who got appointed as Barack Obama’s Chief Information Officer before his DC offices got raided by the FBI.  Kundra has now taken a leave of absence from his White House job while the FBI sorts this out.  The FBI is still investigating what happened at the DC CTO office, and Acar may not be the end of the story.

Without a doubt, pajamas or not, Acar knew something was coming down.  The FBI nailed him just in time.  The big question will be how Acar got away with it for a long enough period to have that much cash on hand to drop off with his mother, and how Kundra couldn’t see this for himself.  At the very least, it suggests a level of incompetence that hardly commends Kundra for higher governmental positions.

Yesterday, I reported that Kundra had a conviction for petty theft on his record in Montgomery County in 1997, when Kundra was 23.  Mike DeBonis at the Washington City Paper confirms my report:

AND THEN THERE’S THIS—Was Vivek Kundra cited for theft in Montgomery County when 21? Blogger Hot Air says he was, and LL’s follow-ups indicate that was indeed the former CTO who was pinched in 1996.

The conviction was in 1997, but the arrest could have been in 1996.  I still have not heard from the White House regarding my report on Kundra, and other than the WCP, I haven’t seen any other report in the mainstream media.  We’ll keep an eye out for it.


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