Former NASA official Sarsfield pleads guilty in contract scheme

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Former official admits contract fraud

A former high-ranking NASA official has pleaded guilty in Mississippi to designing contracts that netted him more than $270,000 in illegal profits.

Prosecutors say Liam P. Sarsfield, a former chief deputy engineer in Washington, controlled a $1.5 million fund and designed contracts that wouldn't have to be put out for bid.

Authorities say some of the money ended up in the hands of another top NASA official, Courtney A. Stadd, who faces felony charges in south Mississippi, home to NASA's Stennis Space Center. He has pleaded not guilty.

-- Associated Press


3 from Greenpeace arrested over banner

Three Greenpeace activists were arrested Monday after their balloon-powered banner criticizing Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) was released in the Hart Senate Office Building.

Sgt. Kimberly Schneider, a Capitol Police spokeswoman, said they would be charged with unlawful conduct, demonstrating in a Capitol building.

The banner that rose to the ceiling of the 90-foot atrium said "Lisa Murkowski, Happily matched since 2004" and had the logos of three energy companies. A Greenpeace spokesman said it was protesting ties between Murkowski and polluters.

A Murkowski spokesman said, "Senator Murkowski has legitimate concerns about the economic consequences of EPA regulating greenhouse gases and believes the American people deserve a full debate on the issue."

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