When this was first reported in 2006, it seemed to be a serious scandal:
A recent probe into Amtrak's legal department by the Department of Transportation's inspector general and Amtrak's inspector general at the request of Congress found more than $100 million in mismanaged legal fees from June 2002 to June 2005. According to the report, released on Oct. 25, Amtrak was billed more than $40 million by 10 law firms. The report found that those firms submitted bills with vague time sheets, inappropriately billed for secretarial or administrative work and billed at rates that may not have adhered to typical government-discounted rates.
That was before Eleanor Acheson was hired as Amtrak's general counsel. But after the Democrats took over Congress in January 2007, everyone seems to have lost interest in what went on in the legal department before Acheson's arrival. Until last month, when IG Fred Wiederhold submitted a 94-page legal report -- and then immediately retired.
Now, questions are being asked on Capitol Hill. As I reported Tuesday, the Republicans who are asking the questions have begun to wonder if their Democratic counterparts are equally determined to get answers to those questions. And then there was this headline in the Washington Post last week:
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