Frank Charney

Frank Charney's Sunday Postcard

Military officer's role with Johnstown company questioned

A tale of mystery and intrigue surrounds the October 16, 2007, death, by his own hand, of a former US Air Force officer, Charles D. Riechers, who was temporarily hired to work for a Johnstown government contractor, Commonwealth Research Institute (CRI). Upon inquiry by the Washington Post, Mr. Riechers revealed that he was paid $27,000 by CRI for essentially performing no work for them early in 2007. This naive "off-the-cuff" statement to the Washington Post possibly cost him his promotion to a pending higher job, certainly the chastisement of officials over him, and finally his life. The ensuing stress suffered by this highly qualified military officer was too much for him to bear.

For more of the story, see it here. Within the article, also navigate to the October 1, 2007, lengthy story that provides the details surrounding former Officer Riechers' association with CRI.

Personally, I found it interesting that the CRI's top three executives each earn a yearly average of $462,000. One wonders if this is adequate compensation for the life style around Johnstown. I am reminded of the analogy from Frank Sinatra's song, "New York, New York," "If I can make it here, I can make it anywhere."

Again, Congressman Murtha's name is mentioned, and he is to be credited with creating CRI in 1987. Let us give him credit for his role in locating a number of government agencies in the Johnstown area to help the region's long-depressed economy. His Washington office, through a spokesman, said Congressman Murtha has no ties to CRI and that the company has saved money for the taxpayers.

The story does not end here. An investigation and a series of congressional and government hearings over improprieties concerning CRI are pending.

Interestingly, the Air Force acquisition job slated for Officer Riechers continues to be a "hot potato." Below is a clip from Today's GovExec.com relating to the status of one of his predecessors.

October 4, 2005
Darleen Druyun Released From Prison

Today provides that former Air Force acquisition official and Boeing executive, Darleen Druyun, completed her prison sentence and was released from a Marianna, Florida jail. As an AF acquisition official, Druyun negotiated for employment with Boeing while negotiating a major lease tanker deal with Boeing and admitted to giving Boeing preferential treatment in certain contract matters.

— Frank Charney

This Day in History

1805: Lord Nelson won a great victory over France and Spain at the Battle of Trafalger.

1917: Jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie was born.

1967: Vietnam War protesters stormed the Pentagon.
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Liberty Museum project report
What's new in Nanty Glo?
Report on latest NTAMHS Meeting


Complete index of Jon Kennedy's Jonal articles


Today's chuckle

As a nation we are dedicated to keeping physically fit...and parking as close to the stadium as possible.

— Bill Vaughan


Thought for today

Marriage is a duel to the death which no man of honour should decline.

— G. K. Chesterton


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