Meals, Fishing Trip Win Contractor $170M—And Trip To Prison

The 73-year-old defense contractor, whose company cleans up unexploded land mines, also used a little cash to grease the palm of a government official

Plenty of work for contractors in Afghanistan — REUTERS
Apr 19, 2016 at 5:07 PM ET

An aging Oregon defense contractor managed to win more than $170 million in federal contracts—by greasing the palm of a government official with cash, meals and a fishing trip to Alaska.

Sky, the contractor’s legal name, pleaded guilty to repeatedly bribing Jerry Hodgson, an Army Corps of Engineers manager. In exchange, the 73-year-old contractor, whose Ashland-based company primarily worked to clean up unexploded land mines, received a total of nine Pentagon contracts between 2002 and 2013, court records show.

Appearing in U.S. federal court on Monday, Sky waived a grand jury indictment and entered his plea.

“You’re going to have to live with my sentence. You OK with that?” U.S. District Judge Marco Hernandez asked the defendant, referring to him as Mr. Sky.

“Well, I have to be, yes,” Sky replied.

He faces up 27 months in prison, Courthouse News Service reported.