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Boeing contract inquiry widens

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon is investigating eight more Air Force contracts handled by Darleen Druyun, the former Air Force official who was convicted last year of giving The Boeing Co. special treatment on a tanker lease deal.

The contracts range in value from $42 million to $1.5 billion each, with a total value of about $3 billion, according to a summary provided by the Pentagon on Monday.

Michael Wynne, the acting chief of Pentagon acquisition programs, said the eight contracts were identified as suspicious from among 407 reviewed by a team of military and civilian contracting experts.

The report by the Defense Contract Management Agency referred the contracts to the Pentagon’s inspector general, but did not recommend a criminal investigation, Wynne said.

The eight contracts are in addition to seven others already being investigated in the growing scandal involving Druyun, who has admitted in court that she favored Boeing on deals worth billion of dollars because the company gave her daughter and son-in-law jobs.

Druyun’s admission led to a detailed review of her nearly 10-year tenure as a key weapons buyer for the Pentagon and prompted rival defense companies to file protests over Boeing contracts awarded during that period.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John Warner, R-Va., welcomed the latest review, but said a full report from the inspector general is overdue.

“This review is absolutely essential if we are finally to determine the accountability of senior civilian managers from the Air Force and Defense Department for this enormous waste of taxpayer funds, and to prevent a recurrence,” Warner said in a statement. “We must establish full accountability for past actions to help the Air Force move on.”

Four of the eight contracts being reviewed involve Boeing, while two involve Lockheed Martin, one of the companies that has protested Boeing’s contract awards.

Spokesmen for the companies said they would cooperate with the government to resolve any outstanding questions.

“If any problems are found, we’ve got both the will and the processes to fix them,” said Boeing spokesman Dan Beck.

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