Mr. Millard’s e-mail messages show that, while the bidding was under way last fall, he also spoke with Rick Lazio, a former House Republican who is now a senior executive at JPMorgan Chase, to discuss career options.

You’ll not be surprised to learn that JP Morgan was the third company to get in on the contract.

As the Times reports here:

“Both sides should have known better,” said Steven L. Schooner, co-director of the Government Procurement Law Program at the George Washington University, who reviewed some of the material for The Times. “What happened here is wrong, stupid and probably illegal.”

Millard pled the Fifth when he was hauled before Congress in May. It’s not hard to see why.

Good legwork by the NYT, and a tip of the hat to its sister paper, The Boston Globe, which was the first to show there was a need for a closer look at this critical agency.

Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at rc2538@columbia.edu.