View Full Version : Nominee for Secretary of the Air Force

Absinthe Anecdote
11-22-2013, 02:25 PM
This doesn't sound very encouraging.

CityTime fraud flew under radar of President Obama's Air Force secretary pick

New York Daily News

November 21, 2013

President Obama’s nominee for Secretary of the Air Force was in charge of “corporate responsibility” at defense giant SAIC when federal prosecutors arrested two of that company’s executives and several other contractors for fraud in the $700 million CityTime payroll project.

Obama nominated Deborah Lee James in August to replace former Air Force secretary Michael Donley, and the full Senate is expected to confirm her any day now.
At first glance, James has a strong resume.

She is a one-time staffer at the House Armed Services Committee, a former assistant defense secretary under President Clinton, and she spent more than a decade in various top posts at SAIC — the Science Applications International Corp. — before resigning in July as a president of the firm.

But documents released during the CityTime trial in Manhattan federal court make you ask: What kind of oversight did James and other SAIC honchos do while two of their executives — vice president Gerard Denault and chief New York system engineer Carl Bell — allegedly pulled off the biggest contracting fraud in New York City history?

The evidence compiled by prosecutors is so damaging that SAIC agreed in 2012 to forfeit a whopping $500 million to the federal and city governments as part of a deferred prosecution agreement. The firm, which depends on government contracts for 90% of its revenue, acknowledged failing to investigate internal complaints that Denault, the main SAIC executive in charge of CityTime, was taking kickbacks from subcontractors.

Five others, including Bell, have already pleaded guilty. Bell also testified against former co-worker Denault and two contractors, Mark Mazer and Dimitry Aronshtein. Those three are currently awaiting a jury’s decision in their case.
As for Obama nominee James, during the early years of the CityTime fraud, she headed an unrelated division at SAIC. But in August 2010, she became the firm’s executive vice president for communications and government affairs. As part of her new job, she was in charge of overseeing the company’s corporate responsibility.

By the time she took that job, many at SAIC were questioning why Denault kept steering more than $300 million of consulting work to Technodyne, a little-known New Jersey-based firm charging astonishingly high rates for the hundreds of consultants it supplied to the CityTime project.

One Technodyne consultant, prosecutors showed, was actually paid $39,000 a year for her work, but SAIC billed the city $244,000 — more than six times her actual labor cost. The rest of the money represented markups by Technodyne and a series of corrupt subcontractors, with Mazer and Denault getting huge kickbacks for each consultant.
In early December 2010, only weeks before federal agents launched the first arrests in the scandal, the city’s Office of Payroll Administration permitted SAIC to give 5% across-the-board pay increases to all consultants supplied by Technodyne.

Even as City Hall claimed no money for pay raises for city workers, there was plenty for the thieves of CityTime. One Technodyne consultant’s pay suddenly jumped from $620,000 annually to $650,000. Just his increase alone dwarfed what a school aide gets paid for an entire year.

None of these rampant financial shenanigans appears to have caught the eye of the person at SAIC in charge of corporate responsibility, one Deborah Lee James.
But President Obama wants us to believe she’ll do better at the U.S. Air Force buying all those bombers and missiles.


11-22-2013, 07:49 PM
I have concern about anyone who was tied so closely to a major military contractor to get the top Air Force position. In the future SAIC will continue to bid on many Air Force and DoD contracts.

11-22-2013, 08:19 PM
All we can really do is just count down the days til the next clown gets elected. Not that they'll be any better or worse. They'll promise change too...and we'll get more of the same, just like he gave us. Just like the CSAF gave us...etc etc ad naseum.

12-08-2013, 03:20 AM
She sounds like AF leadership material to me. Generally...this is what we end up with.

12-08-2013, 03:48 AM
Sounds like being a staffer in the House Armed Service committee opened many doors for this lady, including the door to the office of Sec of the Air Force. I would be curious about these positions and what experience she had to rise to the level she has attained.

12-08-2013, 12:27 PM
Lets see here: congressional staffer (legislative branch), former asst SECDEF (executive branch), SAIC (private sector with huge connections to DoD, a top $$ defense contractor, provides mostly advisory and assistance contractors opposed to equipment or systems), New York City payroll (huge, bloated bureaucracy), a sub-contractor from Jersey (The Sopranos was a crime family from where? I know it was fiction but work with me) that is getting work steered towards them.

Is this a movie script? This sounds like an organized crime movie.

12-08-2013, 01:18 PM
No question, this is who should be the next Secretary of the Air Force: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erin_C._Conaton

sadly, she went back to the private sector. Maybe she would come back?

She might even be the FIRST female SECDEF one day.