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Dragonlady gets her tail caught in the revolving door

Druyun_1"The stain of this offense is very severe," said Judge T.S. Ellis of the U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, while sentencing Darlene Druyun this morning. Druyun, also known as the Dragonlady for being a tough negotiator, was the second-most senior Air Force procurement official and, while overseeing billions of dollars of Air Force contracts, was involved in discussions with Boeing for a $250,000-a-year job. She was sentenced to nine months in prison, a $5,000 fine, three years of supervised relase and 150 hours of community service. Druyun (who referred to herself as the "Godmother of the C-17") pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate federal conflict-of-interest regulations on a technical basis. That is, she initially admitted only knowingly violating regulations, but not to using her position in the Pentagon to give Boeing advantages. However, she failed a lie detector test and then admitted that she "did favor the Boeing Company in certain negotiations as a result of her employment negotiations and other favors provided by Boeing to the defendant," according to the supplemental statement of facts and supplemental plea agreementPdf_icon. Druyun helped Boeing obtain a grossly-inflated $23 billion deal where the Pentagon would lease Boeing tankers, rather than buy them (and save up to $5 billion). Essentially, she was negotiating for Boeing rather than the government at this point. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Wiechering said, "she did this as a parting gift to Boeing and to ingratiate herself into Boeing." For more information on the Boeing tanker deal check out our Contractor Bailout Archives and our new report The Politics of Contracting.

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