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Air Force Official Removed for Not Disclosing a Northrop Link

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Thursday, 11 Feb 2016 08:38 PM

The U.S. Air Force has reassigned its acting weapons buyer to other duties after he revealed that he failed to list “a Northrop Grumman retirement account held by his spouse” on his annual disclosure form, the service said in a statement.

The Air Force decision on Richard Lombardi came days before the Feb. 16 deadline for the Government Accountability Office to rule on whether to overturn the service’s decision in October to award Northrop Grumman Corp. its new bomber, a program valued at as much as $80 billion. Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp., which had a joint bid for the project, protested the award.

The Air Force statement gave no indication that Lombardi, a member of the Senior Executive Service, played a role in choosing Northrop for the coveted bomber contract, a process that has been conducted amid great secrecy. Still, the service may have been seeking to preempt an embarrassing leak of Lombardi’s Northrop connection.

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James reassigned Lombardi to other duties after his “voluntary disclosure” and referred the matter to the Defense Department’s inspector general, according to the e-mailed statement from Lieutenant Colonel Chris Karns, an Air Force spokesman. Lee named Darlene Costello, a senior acquisition officer, to assume Costello’s acquisition role.

Air Force officials have been especially sensitive to controversies over acquisition since a scandal involving a Boeing aerial tanker in 2003.

An Air Force official, Darleen Druyun, was convicted along with Boeing’s chief financial officer of violating conflict of interest laws during negotiations over the tanker program. Druyun was sentenced in October 2004 to nine months in prison.

Lombardi had been acting weapons buyer since November after the departure of William LaPlante. Lombardi joined the Air Force in October 1980 as a program management analyst at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.


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The U.S. Air Force has reassigned its acting weapons buyer to other duties after he revealed that he failed to list "a Northrop Grumman retirement account held by his spouse" on his annual disclosure form, the service said in a statement.
air, force, official, removed, northrop
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2016-38-11
Thursday, 11 Feb 2016 08:38 PM
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