First, there was the story about an Congressional investigation into fraud claims surrounding use of e-rate funds by the Chicago public school system.
With a public hearing looming in February, the probe is centering on approximately $5 million of equipment supplied by telecom carrier SBC to the Chicago school system that is still sitting in a warehouse.
SBC said in a statement that the company "voluntarily brought this matter to the attention of the FCC" and to the staff of the Oversight and Investigations Committee.
A favorite target of Republicans, Billy Tauzin began investigating the E-rate fund in March of last year following a January 2003 report by the Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit "public service journalism" organization that said the fund was "honeycombed" with fraud.
"We're not trying to kill the program, but clean it up," Ken Johnson, a spokesperson for the House Energy and Commerce Committee told internetnews.com. "In the past it has been riddled with fraud, waste and abuse and we can already prove consumers have been ripped off for millions and millions of dollars. We want to put safeguards in place to avoid this in the future."
On the next day, there's another story about SBC returning almost $8 million in e-rate money.