Federal prosecutors canceled today's hearing for former Boeing Co. executive Michael M. Sears, who was expected to admit that he illegally negotiated the employment of a senior Air Force procurement official.

The U.S. attorney's office declined to comment on why the hearing was canceled. "It's been removed from the docket," said Sam Dibbley, spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Paul J. McNulty.

The court appearance was expected to be rescheduled.

Sears's attorney declined to comment.

Sears served as Boeing's chief financial officer until last year, when he was fired for improperly recruiting Darleen A. Druyun to the company and covering up his actions. Druyun was overseeing several Boeing programs at the Air Force during the recruitment talks, including serving as chief negotiator for a controversial proposal to lease and sell tankers.

Boeing also fired Druyun less than a year after she accepted a position as vice president and deputy general manager of missile defense systems. Druyun has pleaded guilty to conspiracy for accepting the job before she recused herself from making decisions involving the company. She is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 3.

Michael M. Sears was fired as Boeing's chief financial officer last year for his role in recruiting Darleen A. Druyun.