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Pentagon probes defense firms' hiring

The U.S. Defense Department has launched an inquiry into high-level military officials who have taken jobs at defense contractors over the past few years, prompted by ethical problems at Boeing Co., the Wall Street Journal said on Monday.
/ Source: Reuters

The U.S. Defense Department has launched an inquiry into high-level military officials who have taken jobs at defense contractors over the past few years, prompted by ethical problems at Boeing Co., the Wall Street Journal said on Monday.

Citing people familiar with the matter, the paper said the probe is expected to focus on Boeing first and then expand quickly to the hiring practices of other big military suppliers.

The inquiry stems from Boeing's firing of Michael Sears as chief financial officer in November for violating company policy by discussing a job offer with Darleen Druyun, who served as the Air Force's No. 2 acquisition official before joining the company in January. She was also let go, before she had recused herself from Boeing-related negotiations.

Investigators are seeking to determine whether dozens of other Defense Department officials complied with federal requirements to refrain from participating in certain program decisions both before and after moving to the private sector, the paper said, citing people familiar with the details.

Boeing officials could not be reached immediately for comment.