WASHINGTON, D.C. — The length of the ongoing Department of Justice (DoJ) “Fat Leonard” investigation into alleged corruption by U.S. naval personnel in awarding ship services contracts in the Western Pacific could cause “some problems” for filing upper level management billets in the Navy if the pace of the investigation continues on its present course, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus told Congress on Thursday.
The ongoing investigation into allegations some Navy personnel funneled business to Glen Defense Marine Asia has tied up the retirement of some Navy flag officers and has prevented movement in some senior leadership positions, as first reported by Defense News earlier this month.
“Because the investigation is taking so long, because the decision on the people — that may or may not be implicated — has taken so long is frustrating,” Mabus said in response to a question from Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) during the House Appropriations Subcommittee for Defense (HAC-D) on Thursday.
“We are on the timetable of the U.S. attorney’s office in terms of when these things come out.”
Mabus was quick to tell McCollum the Navy could handle current blockages due to the DoJ investigation
“We’re capable of managing now but if the timetable stays as slow as it is, we’re going to have some problems,” Mabus said.
Glen Marine owner, Leonard “Fat Leonard” Francis, is currently in Federal custody and has admitted to bribery and corruption to secure lucrative husbanding and ship service contracts for deployed U.S. Navy ships.
The DoJ probe — following an initial three-year NCIS investigation — is examining deployments over almost a decade in the Western Pacific where ships used GDMA services.
Earlier this month, the service issued letters of censure to three admirals whose actions did not break the law but violated the service’s ethical standards under an appointed Consolidated Disposition Authority (CDA) — Naval Reactors head Adm. John Richardson.
Navy officials told USNI News earlier this month more letters of censure issued to Navy personnel were highly likely.