Alex Constantine - March 29, 2010
DALLAS (CN) - A DynCorp International executive says he was fired for complaining that the company charged the State Department millions of dollars for a database that did not exist. The 2004 contract awarded DynCorp $1 million to build a database of Americans trained in law enforcement who were willing to go to Afghanistan or Iraq at a moment's notice, and $1 million a year to maintain it, Michael Riddle claims in Federal Court.
Riddle claims the database was never built. And he says that "During the last few years of plaintiff's employment, the fact that the database was a nonentity was commonly discussed in plaintiff's department."
He adds that "DynCorp took the State Department's money and never made a glancing blow toward producing or maintaining any type of database that was required by contract.
"Additionally, senior company executives, such as Aiman Zureikat and Richard Cashon, readily acknowledged that they were using funds that were earmarked as CADRE payments for other company expenses, such as recruiting."
Riddle, who began as a technical adviser, says he was a senior employment manager when he was fired after voicing concerns about possible criminal consequences for using his work to fool the government.
Riddle says he kept his own database to track recruits sent to the Police Assessment, Selection and Training facility in Fredericksburg, Va. He tracked how many people washed out, and why, and who advanced out of the facility, according to his complaint.
In 2007, Riddle says, the State Department demanded use of the database. He adds that in 2008, his bosses at DynCorp approached him about using his personal database, and pawning off his work as work that was supposed to have been done for the government's database.
"When plaintiff protested, plaintiff was reminded that plaintiff needed to be a team player," his complaint states.
Riddle says he "has since learned that a responsible party at the State Department allowed DynCorp to avoid its contractual obligation to create the database. On information and belief, the State Department advised DynCorp that any data that it could cobble together would be sufficient to constitute compliance."
Riddle claims that this "scheme was designed to (1) cover up DynCorp's fraud in failing to do anything toward creation of the database; (2) as well as calculate to provide 'cover' for the State Department employee who had allowed the database project to languish and essentially become either impossible or impracticable to reconstruct."
Riddle seeks damages for retaliation under the False Claims Act. He is represented by Steve Kardell with Clouse Dunn Khoshbin of Dalla