Revolving Door? Electric vehicle firm hires DOE official after receiving millions in federal funds

A former top Energy Department official has taken a position on the board of a company that received millions in taxpayer money from the department through a stimulus program that has come under criticism from Congress and independent watchdogs. 

San Francisco-based ECOtality announced in a July 9 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it has appointed Brandon Hurlbut, former chief of staff for recently departed Energy Secretary Steven Chu, to its board. 

Hurlbut led DOE's transition from Chu to current Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. He also served as the White House's deputy director of cabinet affairs and worked for President Barack Obama's 2008 campaign. 

Hurlbut marks a high profile addition to a roster of political connections that helped ECOtality secure more than $100 million in taxpayer financing for its electric vehicle charging stations. 

ECOtality secured a $99.8 million award in 2009 to install nearly 15,000 electric vehicle chargers throughout the country. The contract was integral to the president's stated goal of getting a million electric vehicles on the road by 2015. 

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