updated 10/22/2006 3:45:10 PM ET 2006-10-22T19:45:10

Columnist Armstrong Williams has reached a settlement with prosecutors regarding payments he received by the Education Department to promote President Bush’s agenda.

  1. Other political news of note
    1. Animated Boehner: 'There's nothing complex about the Keystone Pipeline!'

      House Speaker John Boehner became animated Tuesday over the proposed Keystone Pipeline, castigating the Obama administration for not having approved the project yet.

    2. Budget deficits shrinking but set to grow after 2015
    3. Senate readies another volley on unemployment aid
    4. Obama faces Syria standstill
    5. Fluke files to run in California

Under the settlement, Williams admits no wrongdoing but will have to pay $34,000.The deal was reached last week by Williams, the Education Department and its subcontractor, Ketchum Communications.

“The department is happy to see this matter come to a close,” Katherine McLane, a spokeswoman for Education Secretary Margaret Spellings, said Sunday. “One of the first steps Secretary Spellings took when she came to office is to establish guidelines to prevent future occurrences of this type of situation.”

A message left at Williams’ office was not immediately returned Sunday.

The settlement brings to a close a yearlong investigation into the case after reports emerged that the Education Department contracted with several radio, television and print commentators to promote the No Child Left Behind Act.

Lawmakers criticized the contracts as an improper use of taxpayer dollars. Congressional auditors concluded the department engaged in illegal “covert propaganda” by hiring Williams without requiring him to disclose he was paid.

In the settlement, the Justice Department examined whether Williams actually performed the work that was promised in his $240,000 contract signed in late 2003 and cited in his monthly reports to the Education Department.

Ultimately, prosecutors determined he was overpaid $34,000. Their review did not examine whether he improperly promoted the Bush administration’s agenda.

The settlement was first reported in Sunday’s Washington Times.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments