Earlier this month, The Washington Post reported
on an Air Force procurement official, Charles Riechers, who received $16,788 from a defense intelligence contractor while he was awaiting Senate confirmation. The Air Force defended Riechers' arrangement with the company, although a contracting-law expert told the paper it was "seriously questionable."
Today Riechers was found dead in an apparent suicide
The second-highest ranking member of the Air Forceâs procurement office was found dead of an apparent suicide at his Virginia home Sunday, Air Force and police officials said today.
The official, Charles D. Riechers, 47, came under scrutiny by the Senate Armed Services Committee earlier this month after the Air Force arranged for him to be paid $13,400 a month by a private contractor, Commonwealth Research Institute, while he awaited review from the White House of his appointment as principal deputy assistant secretary for acquisition. He was appointed to the job in January. ...
The Air Force has disputed The Postâs portrayal of Mr. Riechersâs role and said in a statement today that he was âemployed in a scientific and engineering technical assistance capacity to the Air Force and made recommendations that were instrumental in engineering our acquisition transformation and continuing the Air Forceâs modernization of our aging fleet.â
Specifically, the Air Force said that Mr. Riechers, a retired Air Force officer and master navigator, provided technical advice on several programs including converting commercial aircraft to military using and modernizing the C-130 transport plane. Loren Thompson, an expert on the military at The Lexington Institute said it was unclear whether Mr. Riechersâs suicide had anything to do with the inquiry. However, he said that Mr. Riechersâs death would cast a further shadow over the Pentagonâs beleaguered procurement system.