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Boeing Fires Former Top Air Force Official Over Unethical Conduct

November 24, 2003 

 

Boeing Company announced today that it has fired former Air Force top acquisition official Darleen Druyun and the company's Chief Financial Officer, Mike Sears, in connection with the two conducting possibly illegal discussions of "matters involving Boeing" while Druyun was still a government employee.

The announcement raises even more questions about the motivations behind the Air Force's dogged pursuit of a plan to lease 100 Boeing tankers that was clearly not in the best interests of the taxpayers, said POGO Senior Defense Investigator Eric Miller.

"We thought on its face that Ms. Druyun's going to work for Boeing earlier this year was very suspicious, particularly in light of her extensive record of being a vocal advocate of several Boeing projects, ranging from the C-17 cargo jet to the Boeing tanker lease," Miller said. "We've long wondered whose team she was on, Boeing's or the taxpayers'."

In a January 6, 2003 POGO news release, POGO dubbed Druyun's hiring by Boeing Missile Defense Systems as one of the most egregious examples in recent memory of the revolving door between the federal government and defense contractors. "Ms. Druyun is now officially an employee of the company whose interests she so ardently championed while she was supposedly representing the interests of the taxpayers," POGO's Executive Director Danielle Brian said at the time.

Miller said, "Today's admission by Boeing seems to make it clear that while she was still a government employee she had her eye on the prize - a cushy contractor job. We're hopeful this textbook case of Pentagon-contractor coziness will spark an interest in tightening the loopholes in the regulation of the revolving door between government and industry."

"It's comforting to know that there's apparently a limit to the level of unethical behavior tolerated within the Department of Defense procurement system. At the same time it's disturbing that it took an exhaustive two-year public campaign led by Senator John McCain to get the contractor to admit to unethical conduct on the part of its employees."


Founded in 1981, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is a nonpartisan independent watchdog that champions good government reforms. POGO's investigations into corruption, misconduct, and conflicts of interest achieve a more effective, accountable, open, and ethical federal government.

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