CACI International Inc. said yesterday that an internal investigation of its operations in Iraq turned up no evidence that its employees were involved in the abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison.
The Arlington government contractor has been under scrutiny since one of its employees, Steven A. Stefanowicz, was named in an internal Army report made public in April. The report said Stefanowicz, an interrogator working with the Army, encouraged soldiers to set conditions to facilitate interrogations and said he "clearly knew his instructions equated to physical abuse."
CACI said its investigation, conducted by the Washington office of Steptoe & Johnson LLP, has not found "credible or tangible" evidence supporting the claims in the report prepared by Army Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba. The company described the investigation's results as "preliminary" and said its probe is still ongoing.
The findings are based "on a combination of interviewing CACI personnel, obtaining publicly available documents and asking the government for information," CACI spokeswoman Jody Brown said in an interview. Most of the interviews were done in person, Brown said, but she declined to say whether they took place in Iraq.
Continued conflict in Iraq complicated the investigation as did a prohibition of on-site interviews, the company said. CACI said it had only limited access to information controlled by the Pentagon.
Stefanowicz's lawyer said his client, who is still a CACI employee, is "heartened" by the company's report.
"While [Stefanowicz] is gratified by these findings, he is not surprised," Henry E. Hockeimer Jr., a lawyer with Hangley Aronchick Segal & Pudlin in Philadelphia, said in a writtenstatement. Since the release of the internal Army report, he said, "no evidence has emerged corroborating the vague allegations made against Mr. Stefanowicz in the Taguba Report."
Last week the company was awarded a new contract worth up to $23 million to continue providing interrogators and other intelligence services to the Army in Iraq. "The message from our customer has been consistent throughout and this is what they have shared with us: They are pleased with our work," Brown said.