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Feds investigate W.Va. fiber cable project

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The U.S. Commerce Department’s inspector general has started an investigation into a $42 million fiber-optic cable network that Frontier Communications built with federal stimulus funds in West Virginia.

Federal investigators have told state officials to turn over Frontier’s invoices and thousands of other documents related to the high-speed Internet project.

A letter sent to the state suggests the U.S. is looking into whether Frontier padded invoices with unnecessary costs — and whether high-ranking state officials turned a blind eye to any fraudulent billings.

The inspector general named eight former and current state officials whose emails and files should be searched. The names include state Homeland Security Director Jimmy Gianato, former state Commerce Secretary Kelley Goes and state Office of Technology administrator John Dunlap.

The state has until Oct. 17 to turn over the records….

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