[FPSPACE] Aerospace scandal grows
zirconic1 at earthlink.net
Fri Nov 19 13:26:16 EST 2004
This is the scandal that is currently cooking in Washington, DC.
For those who don't know, the short version: high-level Air Force bureaucrat (who once worked for NASA) retired and went to work for Boeing. It quickly became apparent that she gave Boeing contracts in return for her job, along with a job for her daughter and son-in-law. However, the story got a LOT bigger when she lied while striking a plea agreement. It turns out that she may have been throwing contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars to Boeing for years before getting caught--including a deal for EELV rockets for the Air Force. Now there are going to be a lot of lawsuits and possible re-competing of contracts. Lots of people are stunned that one person in the Department of Defense could decide billions of dollars in contracts with little oversight. She only gets 9 months in jail, although she caused billions of dollars of grief.
Anyway, the thought that is probably in the heads of a lot of people, including the prosecutors, is how they bought her so cheap.
Boeing Chiefs Knew of Insider Data, Lockheed Says
By Renae Merle
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, November 19, 2004; Page E01
Citing unreleased documents, Lockheed Martin Corp. alleged in a court filing that former Air Force official Darleen A. Druyun shared with senior Boeing Co. officials proprietary Lockheed information during a 1990s rocket launch competition.
The November court filing relies on notes from a meeting Druyun attended and an e-mail from Harry C. Stonecipher, Boeing's chief executive, but details from both are redacted in the version made public. Lockheed declined to release an unedited version.
"High-level Boeing officials discussed their proposal strategy and Lockheed Martin's pricing with Ms. Druyun shortly before final EELV [rocket launch] proposal submissions," according to Lockheed's filing. "The inescapable conclusion is that the very apex of Boeing's management structure was privy to and willing to exploit the bribery scheme between Boeing and Druyun in connection with the EELV competition."
Druyun was sentenced to nine months in prison last month after admitting she showed favoritism to Chicago-based Boeing for years before accepting a job with the company. Boeing said it hasn't seen any evidence that it received preferential treatment.
Boeing dismissed the allegations, saying Lockheed had misrepresented the documents. "There is absolutely no basis to the claim that Darleen showed favoritism towards Boeing in the EELV competition," said Dan Beck, a Boeing spokesman. "We clearly prevailed over Lockheed in that original competition, both on the merits of our proposal and as the only contractor who met all Air Force requirements."
Bethesda-based Lockheed filed a lawsuit against its rival last year after Boeing acknowledged that several of its employees had Lockheed information, including its pricing for the rocket launch competition. Boeing won the 1998 competition and was awarded 19 rocket launches, with seven allocated to Lockheed.
Boeing filed a countersuit against Lockheed, contending that Lockheed is seeking through the court to discredit Boeing and gain a competitive advantage in the rocket launch market.
Lockheed also said in the filing that it wants to depose Boeing officials about Druyun's involvement in the rocket launch competition. Boeing has opposed the motion.
Boeing's space business was suspended last year from competing for contracts. Pentagon officials have said Druyun's recent admissions have made it difficult to determine when the suspension could be lifted.
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