TWO RETIRED COLONELS AND AIR FORCE
ACADEMY GRADS SENTENCED TO PRISON
IN PENSACOLA, FLORIDA - BOTH GUILTY OF
CONTRACTOR FRAUD - ROBERT SCHALLER
AND MIKE O'HAIR CONSPIRED TO STEER USAF
CONTRACTS AT EGLIN AFB RESEARCH LAB
PLAYED BALL WITH "MONEY-MAN" RICHARD
IANIERI, PAL OF REP. JOHN MURTHA
Both men began their military careers with honor and promise as graduates of the U.S. Air Force Academy. This week, all that came to an ignominious end, as they faced shame and dishonor as convicted criminals in a contractor fraud case involving the military research lab at Eglin AFB Florida.
A federal judge sentenced retired Lt. Col. Richard Schaller to 18 months in prison and five years probation. His fellow conspirator, retired Lt. Col. Mike O'Hair, got only six months in the slammer and three years probation.
The scheme that brought them down was centered around a big bucks contract with links to a deep-pockets Democrat contributor to fat-cat congressman John Murtha (D-Pa.). While Murtha was not directly connected to this particular case, one of his principal fund raisers, a shady politician named Richard Ianieri, was cozy with both Schaller and O'Hair.
TRYING TO PULL AN "INSIDE JOB"
Schaller was the first to crack, when he admitted to investigators he helped O'Hair (who worked at the Eglin AFB military research laboratory) "steer contracts" to a company Schaller had set up for just that purpose.
The "sweetheart deal" was disclosed after O'Hair flew in a private plane, provided by his pal Schaller, to a Pennsylvania-based defense contracting firm controlled by Ianieri.
Murtha's "money man" Ianieri - CEO of Coherent Systems Int. Corp., which got a $8.5 million "earmark" to build battlefield communications systems, thanks to the considerable influence of corpulent congressman Murtha - had contributed more than $95,000 to the controversial Democrat's campaign coffers since 2002.
Can you spell "P - A - Y TO P - L - A - Y," boys and girls?
O'Hair and Schaller came into the picture, investigators told MilitaryCorruption.com, when Coherent Systems "spread the money around" to four sub-contractors, including Schaller's company.
The most important man in the crooked deal was O'Hair at the research lab, since he had the authority to give the Air Force's "blessing" to the big buck deal. He did, but later got caught.