The News Corp. phone hacking scandal has prompted the state of New York to kill a $27 million contract with Wireless Generation, one of Rupert Murdoch’s subsidiary companies. State Controller Thomas DiNapoli last week quietly rejected the Education Department’s contract. Wireless Generation was to pocket $27 million of the state’s $700 million in “Race to the Top” funds to develop software to track student test scores, reported The NY Daily News.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is still reviewing whether reporters from News Corp. hacked the phones of any 9/11 victims. The whole controversy caused the state to pull back on the deal: “In light of the significant ongoing investigations and continuing revelations with respect to News Corp., we are returning the contract with Wireless Generation unapproved,” DiNapoli’s office wrote to the Education Department.
DiNapoli’s office also cited an “incomplete record” about News Corporation’s qualifications as a cause for concern.
Some state education officials slammed DiNapoli, accusing him of caving to teachers’ unions – whose members opposed handing over data to Wireless Generation: “The controller has allowed political pressure to get in the way of vital technology that would help our students,” Education Department spokesman Jonathan Burman said.