Category: Revolving Doors


I have continued to monitor the frustratingly slow, on again, off again trail of justice for federal Defense Security Service whistleblower, Robert Conley.  Conley, a veteran Industrial Security Representative, employed by DSS, has had to traverse a long hard trail in trying to secure justice against his former employer’s heavy handed disrespect, waste, fraud, abuse, harassment, and retribution for his whistleblowing after he discovered criminal and civil issues concerning a defense contract between a large aerospace contractor and the federal government.

Conley ran into difficulties processing his case report of an investigation, when DSS officials refused to accept the detailed and extensive investigative report he prepared, after Conley was ordered to cut his investigation short and submit his report.  Conley was then ordered to start editing his report.  This occurred several times, each time DSS management insisted he take out more of the documented evidence and testimony, that would make the case prosecutable.

Conley refused to sign the now DSS changed reports, which were, after DSS Headquarters manipulation, fraudulent.  There was a lot of conflict as DSS tried to force Conley to sign the fraudulent report.  Because he could not intimidate Conley into signing the fraudulent report, eventually, the DSS Headquarters manager, Michael McDaniel, signed the fraudulent report himself and then briefed the user agency affected.  Since other parties were aware of the issues that were found with this contract, and what the real problems were, things went downhill from there.  A massive cover-up appeared to be in process regarding the criminal and civil matters discovered that were issues in this contract, and in this investigation.  The DSS manager, Michael McDaniel,  who had apparently written, signed, and briefed the fraudulent report, later left DSS and moved directly to employment with a defense contractor.   (Keep in mind the functional policy of the U.S. Government appears to be, that once someone leaves federal service, they will not go after them in any legal proceedings, nor will they insist they testify in legal proceedings.  If they leave the government, they seem to receive a “get out of jail free card.”)

Conley has endured, along with his counterpart, Randall Kelly,  (who had oversight of the program for the Marine Corps), vast amounts of harassment, retribution, and abuse.  They were both thoroughly beaten down in every way possible by their employers, effectively ending their careers.  They have received massive retribution and abuse for reporting theft and fraud involving a government defense contract.   They even received threats of various kinds, and at least one death threat passed along through channels, which did not deter them from seeking proper legal resolution of their investigation and case.  It has now been fifteen (15) years of struggle with this situation.  (Both were forced into premature retirements eventually, as no support or remedy was offered by any of those government entities who are supposed to help whistleblowers.)

Conley has had to endure a long slow process which included making protected disclosures to various parties, as a part of working through the process of trying to get help and put attention on the attendant problems and alleged criminal activities.  As a part of the process, the DCIS (Defense Criminal Investigative Service) had an open case filed.  This went nowhere fast, and it appeared that a cover-up was likely in progress, as time passed and nothing constructive happened.

Conley then filed a complaint with the DOD OIG.  The DOD OIG had Conley’s complaint and case for an extended period of time.  Much more time passed.  The DOD OIG official in charge, had gone to the Washington DC office of the DCIS in search of Conley’s “then identified as missing” case, and found Conley’s case, with an unworked Congressional Investigation attached, sitting in Director Rick Beltz’s office, in a stack of similarly unworked cases on his desk.  Apparently, cases that for various reasons certain people, or corporations did not wish to see worked, were being held in limbo in that office.  This is absolutely unacceptable, and a betrayal of all integrity that should be demonstrated by federal law enforcement and contract enforcement activities.  So, if any of you filed a case with the DCIS in the past couple of decades or so, and never saw any action or results, you might check to see if your case was one of those held in the derailed pile on the Director’s desk.  I understand Rick Beltz was fired, and the DOD OIG official who was trying to do the right thing was removed from his position and transferred to some other position of less exposure.

The DOD OIG eventually said they would be forwarding the Title 18 Criminal issues to another office for processing.  That did not happen, as it appears the cover-up was put into place on the criminal issues, apparently in an effort to protect the implicated defense contractor.  Conley’s Title 5, Retribution case was upheld by the DOD OIG, whose report concluded he was indeed a whistleblower, and a victim of harassment, retaliation,  and retribution forced on him by the Defense Security Service.  The DOD OIG directed DSS to make Mr. Conley whole.  Director Stanley Sims chose to ignore the report entirely, although he is the Director who received the DOD OIG report.  In fact, he seemed, based on documents uncovered recently, to be enraged that Conley would go to the DOD OIG, and that the DOD OIG would tell the DSS what they can and cannot, will and will not, do and what Sims said in these documents could be construed as threats.

Conley’s case then spent a very long time in waiting with the OSC for them to consider his case.  There again appeared to be a lot of pressure on the investigative agency, this time OSC.  It appears that the corporate defense contractor and some of the implicated parties including within the management levels of DOD,  and possibly the Pentagon itself, have a great deal of influence and are able to intimidate those who are supposed to investigate and assure justice to whistleblowers and others reporting criminal and civil issues that need to be addressed by the legal system.  So, in my opinion, there was something not kosher going on there, and the OSC failed to do their duty regarding this case.

I have been  made aware that a hearing finally is going to take place, under the auspices of an MSPB judge regarding Title 5 issues on Conley’s behalf.

The hearing will take place at the federal courthouse in Seattle, 915 Second Avenue, Seattle, Washington 98101.  I understand it is a public MSPB hearing so if any of you are interested in observing, you may attend.  The hearing is scheduled for two days, Monday, January 25 through Tuesday, January 26, 2016.

There is a long list of witnesses and DSS appears to be making effort not to cooperate, or be accountable for their actions, and their lack of decency with regard to how they treat their employees.  Throughout the past 15 years, a lot of sudden and insufficiently explained changes have occurred in DSS management levels.  Director Stanley Sims, has just left DSS and has gone directly to a lucrative position at a large defense contractor.  Industrial Security Director Richard Lawhorn recently left DSS, and has directly taken a lucrative position at another large defense contractor.

There are regulations governing conflict of interest issues, and that prohibit federal employees and officials from using the revolving door to move directly from government oversight positions to defense contractor corporate jobs, where there might be a conflict of interest.  I believe there are problems with this succession of DSS employees/managers moving directly from DSS to defense contractors.  In fact, I learned that another former DSS Manager, Gregory Gwash, who had left DSS suddenly and directly taken a lucrative position at a large aerospace defense contractor in Seattle a number of years ago, was forced to leave employment with that defense contractor, after a federal AG’s office investigation of his use of the revolving door.   Expect I will be writing about this DSS situation in more detail at a later date.

 

 

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In my absence, I have continued to read, talk to sources, and monitor what is going on regarding whistleblowers, corruption, and mismanagement in government. I wish I could say things are getting better, but I cannot. The corruption and cronyism within the Pentagon and DOD various agencies and activities has continued. Cover-ups of exposed illegal and unethical activities have continued.

And the accompanying retribution and harassment against federal employees, (and in some cases, corporate employees), who know of the crimes and improprieties, and have tried to do something about them by exposing those responsible, has elicited wrath of escalating intensity on the heads of the whistleblowers and other employees who are aware of the situation. This retribution and harassment has expanded in some cases to the families of those targets of retribution as well.

In some cases where investigations are still ongoing, (although being slowed down and arrested in progress as the implicated ones try to use their crony networks to try to make them go away), mysterious retirements and resignations have been occurring in the case of some implicated managers or employees, who stand to be exposed and held accountable for their actions, if cases end up in court and reported publicly. It appears the implicated individuals are being urged, or perhaps given an ultimatum to leave government service under the threat of exposure and prosecution, (with possible destruction of career and loss of retirement benefits), if they refuse. It has been reported to me that in a number of cases these implicated individuals are retiring earlier than they planned, or are translating their employment from government to corporations with the aid of cronyism and using helpful connections developed while working as a federal employee/or government (SES) manager with these corporations.

The trend of these implicated players to take new jobs with defense contractors or other corporate entities, seemingly directly and immediately after leaving federal service, completely violating the requirements, (which vary depending on the government job migrated out of, and the corporate job migrated into), for a period of time to elapse (cool down period) before taking the corporate job where they may have a conflict of interest concern. This is unethical and illegal, violating federal policy as well.

Some examples concern employees who worked in government oversight responsibility agencies whose jobs entailed supervising and having oversight of certain defense contractors, (that hold federal defense contracts), taking jobs with those same corporations or related corporations, that they, had oversight of and authority over. Persons doing as I describe, are said to be using the “revolving door.” The revolving door swings both ways. If you’ve been paying attention to the appointments of agency or activity directors, and have wondered why Agriculture or the FDA would have people, who worked at Monsanto or with certain Pharmaceutical corporations put in charge of enforcement, oversight, and policy, you understand the problem of the revolving door. Compromised individuals cannot serve both American taxpayers, assuring their health and safety, and also serve their corporate masters as well. In this way, many of our systems put into place to provide protection for American taxpayers, have been horrifically compromised, corrupted and made absolutely impotent.

The benefit to these implicated and alleged criminal federal employees, (if they get away with this), is that they may have done favors or in some unethical way served the corporate interests, rather than the American taxpayers, and national security interests, prior to leaving government service. In some cases, in the past it appeared that a quid pro quo relationship may have been in place where favors, or waivers, or other helpful actions on behalf of a corporate defense contractor was rewarded with a corporate defense contractor job later, particularly if the improprieties were discovered, and the employee had to leave federal service.

It appears that they believe if the implicated and compromised employees and managers are allowed to resign and leave, or retire and leave, they may be allowed to go away and not be prosecuted for their alleged crimes, not pulled back into being subjects of, or witnesses to testify in, federal investigations of the ethics or criminal investigations that are ongoing, and may eventually result in prosecutions.

Frankly, there seems to be no will on the part of current Attorney General, Eric Holder, to actually prosecute any of these people, nor of the past two administrations to assure real justice is served, nor of Congress to assure these problems are addressed and the system cleaned up and made to have some integrity again. In fact, Holder is known by many to be a creator and proponent of using non-prosecution agreements to protect corporate and possibly government wrongdoers from being held accountable for their corrupt dealings. Though it has been announced he is stepping down, he is here now, and continuing to serve in the same way he has been, perhaps with less pressure, since some are willing to give him a pass because he is leaving.

I have written about these problems previously. I can see it is not getting any better, and despite lip service from some in Congress to address this type of corruption, it appears many of them are also involved in less than ethical relationships with corporations. So no real investigation with prosecutions as a logical end, have been happening as a product of the work. There does not appear to be any correction of the environments that allow such criminal and corrupt actions and relationships. And there does not appear that any reform of the whole contracting and government oversight system has occurred. Those responsible are being allowed to skate.

I would like to expose specific questionable personnel changes involving federal employees that some of you out there know were implicated in improprieties, possibly being compromised and corrupted by corporate interests, or by someone higher up in the government food chain. I am aware of some cases where the cronyism and corruption have spanned over many agencies and activities in DOD.

If you are a whistle blower, or you have knowledge of any of this, I would like to know what you know. If you know of someone who has left government service, either by resigning suddenly or retiring suddenly, that you know or suspect has been forced out because they were in an indefensible position regarding corruption and/or cover-up of crimes they committed, or that they agreed to cover-up for supervisors or cronies, let me know. I have information about some specific examples. I would like to see if I can discover more connections and depth with the help of my readers.

Thanks,
GFS

I read an interesting article recently regarding how federal agencies have been trying to deal with their overly backlogged Freedom of Information Act requests for information that have apparently been piling up since the 2009 change in Federal direction about granting such requests. 

According to the article by Joseph Marks, in Nextgov, August 31, 2012, about half the agencies have actually reduced the number of FOIA exemptions (information they refused to release formerly, under the premise that such information is exempt to FOIA requests). 

The article also talks about agencies using technology to improve processing time for FOIA requests and the use of the FOIA libraries to post information that might commonly be requested via FOIA requests. 

It seems to this observer that if the Obama administration truly wishes to increase transparency, that more transparent action taken toward prosecuting the many cases of wrongdoing and criminal activity in the realm of federal defense contracting needs to take center stage.  Corruption, influence pedaling, cronyism, fraud, technology theft, use of the “revolving door” by people between industry and the federal government (and vice versa) in order to better serve the needs of the corporations they serve, must be stopped cold in order to allow the oversight that supposedly is in place now to be able to actually function and prevent such atrocities.  The Administration must see that a general clean up is put swiftly into action, and mean it so that these issues are handled first for any genuine transparency in FOIA request handling to be a reality. 

As long as intensive efforts within corporations and their government confederates go into covering up corruption, theft, and fraud within the federal defense contracting world, and wrongdoers that are occasionally exposed, usually by federal employees trying to do their oversight jobs, the status quo, cover-ups and sudden retirements of culpable individuals and use by such of convenient revolving doors will continue to provide sufficient threat of exposure to thwart any serious transparency granted to a FOIA request hopeful, preventing s/he from every getting an honest and “transparent” accounting of what is really going on in federal agencies, particularly in relationship to defense contractors and other corporate interests. 

This article describes a tempest in a teapot, and does not address the real problems related to FOIA requests not being honored by those trying to get to the truth of wrongdoing in the federal government. 

GFS

Link to article:  http://www.nextgov.com/big-data/2012/08/agencies-continue-struggle-foia-requests/57819/

Here is a follow up on an earlier post this week.  Follow the link to see the contract.  Ms Watson was formerly a lawyer with the CIA, in human resources I believe.  Her recent area of interest has appeared to be intel.  -GFS

G. Florence,
 
Where in the world is Kathleen Watson?
 
G Florence you are sailing on course.  McNeil Technologies was awarded a $500 million dollar defense contract in September 2010.  The U.S. Special Operations Command five year linguist support services contract award is public knowledge.
 
http://www.defense.gov/contracts/contract.aspx?contractid=4366
 
How is Kathleen Watson and the Defense Security Service connected?  Stay tuned.
 
The Old Navy Man

For those of you who want a quick look:

Found on defense.gov on March 30, 2011 by GFS as advised by Old Navy Man on 3/29/11.

 

CONTRACTS

U.S. SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND

                “McNeil Technologies, Inc., Springfield, Va., has been awarded a $500,000,000 maximum value, five-year indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity linguist support services contract by U.S. Special Operations Command.  The contractor will provide all personnel, equipment, tools, materials, supervision/management, and other items and services necessary to provide foreign language interpretation, transcription, reporting, and translation services to support overseas contingency operations.  The initial obligation amount is $50,000,000 for the first task order.  The contract number is H92222-10-D-0007.”

Former DSS Director, Kathleen Watson Acceptes Position with McNeil Technologies, Virginia

The word on the street is that she has quick as a bunny, hopped right over to a defense contractor and is now in their employ.  Doesn’t anyone have to adhere anymore to the six months to a year wait period before leaving a government oversight job and jumping right into a contract with a defense contractor?  I hear that a lucrative contract was awarded by the government the very same day Watson signed her new contract with the contractor. 

 Check out her new digs at McNeil Technologies in Virginia:

http://www.mcneiltech.com/