CIA Official Quits; FBI Probes Role in Defense Contracts
Tuesday, May 9, 2006
The FBI is investigating whether a top-ranking CIA official who announced his resignation yesterday steered contracts to a boyhood friend at the center of a congressional bribery scandal, law enforcement officials said.
The investigation of CIA Executive Director Kyle "Dusty" Foggo follows an ongoing investigation by the agency's inspector general, which is examining whether Foggo was involved in CIA contracts awarded to a firm owned by San Diego defense contractor Brent R. Wilkes.
In a brief e-mail to CIA employees yesterday, Foggo said he is stepping down as executive director. The e-mail did not say whether Foggo will leave the CIA, but people within the agency familiar with his plans said he is expected to retire.
The e-mail made no mention of the inspector general's inquiry or Foggo's relationship with Wilkes, officials said. Foggo could not be reached to comment.
Foggo was appointed executive director shortly after Porter J. Goss, who resigned Friday, became director in fall 2004. Foggo and Wilkes have been friends since they went to high school together.
Wilkes has been named as a co-conspirator in the corruption case against former congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham, who pleaded guilty last fall to taking $2.4 million in bribes from Wilkes and others in return for federal contracts. Wilkes has not been charged.
Wilkes's company, ADCS Inc., received more than $80 million in defense contracts, with Cunningham's help, to help convert paper documents to computerized ones.
The FBI recently began examining whether Foggo improperly intervened to help Wilkes obtain some of those contracts, according to two law enforcement officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The inquiry was reported yesterday by the Associated Press.
Foggo has said he has done nothing improper, and the CIA has said the inspector general's review is standard practice and not an indication of wrongdoing.
Foggo's name surfaced in the Cunningham case again last week after reports that FBI agents had questioned a Washington limousine company's president about allegations that Wilkes provided prostitutes to Cunningham and perhaps other lawmakers. The CIA issued a statement last week in which Foggo acknowledged attending poker parties with Wilkes but denied any improprieties.
Some lawmakers have raised questions in recent days about whether the limousine company, Shirlington Limousine and Transportation Inc., was qualified to receive contracts from the Department of Homeland Security.
Wilkes's attorney, Michael Lipman, was out of the country and could not be reached to comment. Lawyers for Wilkes and Christopher D. Baker, president of Shirlington Limousine, have said their clients had no involvement in prostitution. Cunningham's lawyer, K. Lee Blalack II, declined to comment.
Staff writers Jo Becker and Dafna Linzer contributed to this report.