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Why is the Post attacking Tony Jimenez and MicroTech?

I usually don’t go into media criticism, but the Washington Post story on Tony Jimenez and his company MicroTech made me cringe a bit.

The thrust of Robert O’Harrow Jr.’s story is that companies using small business programs can outgrow those programs, but continue to win small business contracts. That’s an old story in the government market, but it still deserves to be examined.

What I don’t understand, though, is why make Jimenez and MicroTech the poster children for flaws in a well-intentioned program? Why is the story only about one entrepreneur and one company?

As I read the article, I kept waiting for the accusations of wrongdoing or proof of illegal activities, but none came.

Instead, it is a description of how Jimenez and MicroTech work inside the system; however, the tenor of the story is that because Jimenez is successful, he’s therefore done something wrong.

The proof of Jimenez’s corruption: He drives a Mercedes. He has a home in Great Falls, Va. And e-gad! He likes mixed-martial arts.

Come on, we deserve better from the Washington Post. O’Harrow had three researchers helping him on this story, and there isn’t one other company mentioned. If he is trying to make the point that the small business set aside program is broken, then why not have some statistics to support that position?

The American Small Business League puts out an annual report naming some of the largest companies in the world that are receiving federal small business contracts.

Why not review some of the findings of Government Accountability Office reports or reports from the Small Business Administration’s inspector general that talk about large businesses getting small business contracts?

Instead, the Post stoops to a personal attack. Maybe it’s sexier, but it’s misleading and unfair.

I don’t want to sound like an apologist for Jimenez and MicroTech; I agree with O’Harrow’s statement in the story in that MicroTech’s success “illuminates the challenges and complexities at the heart of government programs to help small-business entrepreneurs.”

MicroTech is solidly in the mid-tier of the government contracting space, so it’s a legitimate question to ask if they should still be able to participate in small business programs.

But that is a question of policy, not proof of corruption, which is how O’Harrow’s story reads. I guess we'll get more on Thursday when part two examines MicroTech and its contract with Veterans Affairs. Jimenez is an Army veteran with a 30 percent disability, so the company also qualifies as a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business.

That status apparently is more fodder for an attack.

But it seems to me that Jimenez and MicroTech are being attacked because of their success, and that shouldn't be a crime.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Nov 13, 2013 at 9:43 AM


Reader Comments

Fri, Jan 3, 2014 LMAO-007 Great Falls

People, if you read the SBA letter it shows all the lies and misrepresentations that MicroTech and Tony made. He lied to get his 8(a) and although he might be SDVOSB he is healthier then most of us. When I watched Tony and Paul Price one of the others execs at MicroTech fire a Service Disable Vet who just had surgery for his disability so that they didn't have to foot the cost of Long Term Disability for this Vet I lost all respect for both of them. There is so much more to this story that hasn't been printed. I hope he goes to jail. Mr. Wounded Warrior himself, who fire a VET going through that to save a couple of dollars. Karma

Mon, Dec 23, 2013

Microtech was recently debarred, so there's more to the story.

Thu, Dec 5, 2013 Clovis Poe Herndon

For those of us who know the story, Jimenez did Hawkins his former employee and GovWare CEO right. What O'Harrow left out was the fact that Hawkins started another company in violation of their agreement and then started stealing from GovWare. Hawkins is lucky he got a settlement. I would have had him put in jail.

Tue, Nov 26, 2013

If Mr. Jimenez is such a swell guy, why did he treat his former employee and GovWare CEO so shoddily? $860 for the majority control of a company that just won a lucrative NASA contract? He couldn't have sweetened the deal by, say, another $140 to make it an even $1,000?

Tue, Nov 26, 2013

Based on the Post information alone, I'd bet my house that if an investigation was done by a Government official outside of the SBA program, Mr. Jimenez and his two "partners" would be in hot water. As it stands, I'm sure they'll slide through this and keep up the (their) good work

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