Michael Grabell covers economic and labor issues for ProPublica. He has produced stories for the New York Times, USA Today, NPR and the CBS Evening News. His investigative work has included stories on the TSA, the Lance Armstrong doping allegations, chemicals stored near schools and neighborhoods, and a bus fire that killed 23 nursing home patients. Before joining ProPublica, Grabell was a reporter at The Dallas Morning News. He is the author of "Money Well Spent?," a book about President Obama’s stimulus package and his efforts to revive the economy from the Great Recession.
Cape Fox Corporation was prey to some of the worst abuses in a system that gives Alaska Native Corporations access to no-bid government contracts of unlimited size. As federal contracting grew, benefits went to non-native consultants instead of providing jobs, dividends to natives.
Revenues of Alaska Native Corporations have skyrocketed thanks to special privileges that allow them to obtain no-bid contracts of unlimited size. But profits and dividends haven’t kept pace, according to an analysis of ANC annual reports online at ProPublica.
About $24 million in stimulus contracts have gone to companies associated with a road contractor now on trial in Kentucky, accused of bribing the state’s previous transportation secretary to get a leg up on contracts.