From The Washington Times:
The Drug Enforcement Administration wasted more than $850,000 by paying an Amtrak employee for work as a confidential source when the federal employee was already obligated to share information with law enforcement, according to a report released Thursday by the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General.
Amtrak’s Office of the Inspector General previously brought the case to light, issuing a 2014 report that disclosed that a secretary to turn over confidential passenger name reservation information. That report faulted the Amtrak secretary for failure to get approval from Amtrak management or the Amtrak Police Department before sharing the information.
The OIG’s report notes that the DEA’s actions were a “violation of federal regulations relating to the use of government property.”
Over the course of 20 years, the DEA made payments to the Amtrak employee in exchange for acting as a source and providing information to the agency. The arrangement netted the employee $854,460 as of January 2014.
According to the OIG investigative summary, which does not go into detail about the arrangement or identify the employee involved, the information provided through the confidential source should have all been available to the DEA at no cost because the Amtrak Police Department and the DEA participate in a joint task force that works to interdict passengers trafficking contraband on Amtrak trains. An arrangement allowing the employee to collect payments was “thereby wasting substantial government funds,” the report states.
As the OIG investigated this case, it also discovered a second arrangement between the…