Nation in brief: Clintons’ neighbor accused of murder
A neighbor of former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton was arrested Thursday and charged with murdering his wife, who he claimed had been shot by a stranger on a dark suburban road.
Carlos Perez-Olivo, a disbarred lawyer who was wounded in the Nov. 18, 2006, shooting, faces one count of second-degree murder and two counts of illegal weapon possession. If convicted, Perez-Olivo, 59, would face up to life in prison.
Peggy Perez-Olivo, 55, was shot in the head as she and her husband were driving from Manhattan toward their home just three doors from the Clintons in Chappaqua. The teacher’s assistant at a Chappaqua school died two days later.
Prosecutor Perry Perrone, who argued against bail for Carlos Perez-Olivo, called the killing “a cold-blooded, well-planned execution” and said there was a “compelling circumstantial case, a compelling forensic case” against him.
“All investigative roads led to one person and one person only,” Perrone said.
IRS contractor’s pay questioned
The Internal Revenue Service paid a contractor $188,000 to provide one person to do clerical work over 11 months.
The contract was included as one example of financial waste in a government report Thursday on the IRS’ involvement in a program ordered by President Bush in 2004 to develop more secure ID cards for federal workers.
The Treasury Department’s inspector general for tax administration said the IRS also needlessly spent almost $2 million on a computer security system that the tax agency does not plan using at this time.
The IRS was responsible for developing and putting in place the program for providing more secure identification cards to some 150,000 Treasury employees. The program’s projected cost was put at $421 million over 14 years.
To provide one person for a clerical support job updating contact lists, assigning and tracking equipment and processing trip reports, the contractor was paid $128 an hour.
Auditors for the inspector general’s office were told by IRS program managers that the work could have been done by an employee with a ranking of GS-7, eligible for a starting salary of around $38,000 plus benefits.
“The IRS accepted this responsibility for the Treasury Department,” said J. Russell George, the Treasury inspector general for tax administration. “It must change its present course and proceed in an efficient, cost-effective and responsible manner.”
Michigan pols rankled by Prius
When Congress sent an energy bill to President Bush for his signature, it arrived in a Japanese-built Toyota Prius hybrid – a move that rubbed two Michigan Republicans the wrong way.
“It is a huge slap in the face, calculated I believe, just to demonstrate their complete disregard for the domestic auto industry,” said Rep. Candice Miller, R-Mich.
To Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., it was a “slap in the face of every American auto worker.”
They said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., could have provided the same symbolism by sending the bill Wednesday in a U.S.-built hybrid made by Ford Motor Co. or General Motors Corp.
Drew Hammill, a spokesman for Pelosi, said the Republicans were “merely attempting to distract from the success of the Democratic energy security legislation” and noted that 95 House Republicans supported the bill. He said the bill would encourage the development of hybrids and alternative vehicles.
Hammill said the Prius was owned by an employee with the Office of the Clerk, which sends bills to the White House.