WashTimes: Navajo man a front for minority government contracts
A member of the Navajo Nation was used as front for a company in order to obtain minority government contracts, The Washington Times reports.

Ambrose Oliver left the reservation and moved to Maryland to become a part of a new business. But he said he was never involved in any of the decision making and was instead given a job as a cashier in a liquor store.

"I didn't go out there to be a liquor-store cashier," Oliver told the paper. "I had a job already. I had gone out there to do what they had told me, which was to learn about that business."

The paper said Russell Wodiska and Vic Guido asked Oliver to lead the company. E-mails show that Oliver's status as a Native American was used in paperwork with the Small Business Administration.

"We need you to begin to think about your Personal and Economic Disadvantage Statement," one e-mail to Oliver said. "This statement must CLEARLY show how your status as a Native American has DIRECTLY held you back."

Oliver started to complain about the business but he said federal authorities and officials weren't interested. He told Wodiska and Guido to end the arrangement in March 2008.

"That should have been raising red flags all over the place," an SBA spokesperson told the paper.

SBA officials would not say whether an investigation is underway.

Get the Story:
Minority contract set-aside program exploited (The Washington Times 7/28)