Colonel to Admit Role in Iraq War Corruption
U.S. Army Veteran Is Accused of Taking More Than $50,000 in Bribes
By JOEL MILLMAN at WSJ
A 26-year veteran of the U.S. Army is the latest and highest-ranking officer to plead guilty in a contractor-corruption scandal rising out of the Iraq War.
Col. Kevin A. Davis, who retired from the military in 2005, has agreed to plead guilty next month in a U.S. court in Washington, D.C., according to federal court documents.
Col. Davis is charged with taking more than $50,000 in bribes to help a Kuwait-based contractor win a rigged bid to operate weapons warehouses in Iraq. Col. Davis then went to work for that same company, American Logistics Services, as a senior executive after leaving the military. Col. Davis later joined Lee Dynamics International, which was formed by George Lee, a U.S. citizen who also directed ALS.
LDI was banned from government service after being investigated in probes of defense-contract fraud in Iraq and Kuwait. Mr. Lee is under investigation, and officials say they will likely seek an indictment. LDI challenged the ban in court, but it was upheld. Mr. Lee’s attorney says his client denies any wrongdoing by both himself and any companies he was involved with.
Col. Davis declined through his attorney to speak about the case. He is expected to cooperate with federal investigators after his guilty plea is accepted, according to his lawyer.
Another officer expected to plead guilty next month is Capt. Markus E. McClain, according to federal officials familiar with the investigation. The Mississippian is charged with taking $15,000 to help a Kuwait-based firm secure a contract to provide vehicles to military convoys supplying bases in Iraq.
Capt. McClain, 31, didn’t respond to requests for comment. He served in Kuwait in 2004 after being called to active duty from the Mississippi Army National Guard. A guard spokesman said he resigned from his unit on March 1.
Col. Davis, 52 years old, is the highest-ranking officer to be implicated in a scheme known among federal investigators as the Cockerham Case, for Major John Cockerham, who pleaded guilty last year to receiving more than $9 million in illegal payments for defense contracts, primarily to service the Camp Arifjan military base in Kuwait.
Early in the probe, Major Gloria Dean Davis, came under suspicion by investigators in the case. She committed suicide in Baghdad in December 2006, hours after confirming she received more than $225,000 from the same contractor Col. Davis later joined as a civilian, LDI.
The two officers weren’t related, however investigators familiar with the case say they were involved romantically.
Capt. McClain reported to Maj. Davis in 2004. Read this story in it’s entirety at WSJ
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