DEA chief grilled over probe into no-bid contracts, hiring

Lawmakers grilled U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration chief Anne Milgram on Thursday over millions of dollars in no-bid contracts that are the subject of a watchdog probe into whether the agency improperly hired some of her past associates. Milgram faced a barrage of criticisms from mostly Republican members of the House Appropriations Committee over an Associated Press investigation that the DEA spent $4.7 million on “strategic planning and communication” and other no-bid contracts to hire people Milgram knew from her days as New Jersey's attorney general and as a New York University law professor — at costs far exceeding pay for government officials. Milgram said she welcomes the scrutiny from the Justice Department's Office of Inspector General on some sole-source contracts signed since she took over the DEA nearly two years ago.