This morning, executives from the bankrupt Solyndra will be hauled before the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations to tell what they did with taxpayers’ $535 million.
While Chief Executive Officer Brian Harrison and Chief Financial Officer Bill Stover are expected to take the Fifth Amendment, some former Solyndra employees are talking.
The Washington Post reports:
Former employees of Solyndra, the shuttered solar company that exhausted half a billion dollars of taxpayer money, said they saw questionable spending by management almost as soon as a federal agency approved a $535 million government-backed loan for the start-up.
As the $344 million factory went up just down the road from the company’s leased plant in Fremont, Calif., workers watched as pallets of unsold solar panels stacked up in storage. Many wondered: Was the factory needed?
“After we got the loan guarantee, they were just spending money left and right,” said former Solyndra engineer Lindsey Eastburn. “Because we were doing well, nobody cared. Because of that infusion of money, it made people sloppy.”
Johnson asked how a risky start-up like Solyndra received $535 million when black-led start-ups can’t get access to capital. He observed:
Somebody said there’s a compelling interest in seeing green. But nobody said there’s a compelling interest in seeing black wealth.
It is said there are no coincidences in politics. I hope congressional investigators find out who in the Obama administration thought the Solyndra fraudsters had a compelling claim to taxpayers’ money.
The hearing is open to the public. Opening statements, witness testimonies, and a live webcast will be available here.