Friday, November 21, 2008

Los Payasos - Government At Work

A Federal Aviation Administration employee from Southern California took illegal perks from his job — including a plane, yachts and heavy-duty trucks — and an investigation continues into how widespread the practice was, federal prosecutors said Thursday. Steven Bradley Smith, a field technician with the FAA in San Diego, abused an internal computer system to claim surplus items from other government agencies, according to charging papers unsealed Thursday in federal court in Tacoma, Wash. "There's a great concern about who knew what about this — about whether it's something that was systemic, or one guy who managed to find the seam in the zone defense of the FAA," Assistant U.S. Attorney David Jennings told The Associated Press. He said he could not comment further on the investigation. The computer system is run by the General Services Administration and is designed to allow federal agencies to list items they no longer need, so that other agencies can acquire them free of charge. Prosecutors said Smith should not have been authorized to acquire items but managed to anyway — purportedly on behalf of the FAA — using another agency's code number. Among the 215 items Smith obtained since 2004 were a Cessna 210 from the Forest Service, a Boston Whaler from the Coast Guard, several computers and a 44-foot Navy yacht that had been used by the ROTC at the University of Washington, the charging document said....[link]

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