The Las Vegas Review-Journal did an in-depth profile on the case Lt Col Timothy Ferner, the military officer who came forward to blow the whistle on fraud, waste and abuse he witnessed at Nellis Air Force Base. Information exposed by Ferner, a James Hoyer client, led to a nearly $6 million settlement with giant defense contractor SAIC.
In this latest article, reporter Keith Rogers took a closer look at the contracting practices used by the Coalition and Irregular Warfare Center at Nellis, where Ferner worked. The headline on the story sums up his findings: “Coalition and Irregular Warfare Center shows little for $42 million effort.”
Here is an excerpt:
Las Vegas was reeling from the great recession in the wake of the 2007 mortgage crisis, yet life was sweet at a well-financed warfare research center at Nellis Air Force Base.
Launched in 2006, the Coalition and Irregular Warfare Center’s central mission was critical: Find ways to counteract improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, the roadside bombs killing and maiming American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
With that overwhelming mission came a big budget, tens of millions of taxpayer dollars.
Less than five years later, the center was quietly “inactivated,” its mission a casualty not of war but of waste and taxpayer abuse associated with contracts steered to a defense contractor.
“We were basically paying these guys to sit around at computers and play games,” said retired Lt. Col. Timothy Ferner, whose whistle-blower complaints got him fired from the center staff in 2009 but ultimately led to the unraveling of large-scale contract abuse.
That assessment came in a July news release after it was announced that Ferner would be awarded nearly $1 million under the federal False Claims Act exposing the scheme.
Now living in New Zealand, Ferner told the Review-Journal the Air Force has little to show for more than $42 million in public money that passed through the center and an associated unit.
Click here to read more of Keith Rogers’ story in the Las Vegas Review-Journal.