Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW): Tele-Press Conf. Thurs. Demanding Investigation Into $74 Million DOD Contract to Company Producing Substandard Helmets

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 27, 2008
2:10 PM

CONTACT: Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)
Naomi Seligman Steiner 202.408.5565 nseligman@citizensforethics.org

 
Tele-Press Conf. Thurs. Demanding Investigation Into $74 Million DOD Contract to Company Producing Substandard Helmets
 

WASHINGTON, DC - February 27 - Tomorrow, Thursday, February 28th, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), will join VoteVets.org and two whistle blowers to discuss the need for a congressional investigation into a $74 million Department of Defense contract awarded to a North Dakota manufacturing company, Sioux Manufacturing Company, which has been outfitting our nation's troops with substandard Kevlar helmets.

New tape recordings of employees discussing the production of the substandard Kevlar for helmets will be publicly played and posted for the first time during the TELE-PRESS Conference, tomorrow at 10:30 am. The call in number is 866-211-5938 (no passcode required).

On February 6th, The New York Times reported that Sioux Manufacturing, which makes the Kevlar for helmets, has agreed to pay $2 million to settle a lawsuit alleging that the company had shortchanged the armor in up to 2.2 million helmets for the military, including helmets used by American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Department of Defense, aware of both the problem with Sioux's helmets and the company's efforts to cover it up, awarded another contract to Sioux a mere 12 days before the lawsuit was settled. That same day, CREW sent a letter to the House and Senate Armed Services Committees requesting an investigation into a Department of Defense $74 million contract awarded to Sioux Manufacturing.

Additionally, over 16,000 Americans have signed a VoteVets.org petition asking for an investigation into the contract. VoteVets.org is the largest political group of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans, representing 14,000 veterans and military families, and over 60,000 civilian supporters.

WHO: _Melanie Sloan, executive director of CREW

Jon Soltz, Co-Founder and Chair of VoteVets.org

Two Whistleblowers Who Worked for Sioux Manufacturing:

Jeff Kenner - Mr. Kenner is the former Weaving Supervisor at SMC, who had worked at SMC for twenty years. SMC employee records reflect glowing employee evaluations of Mr. Kenner, which included a letter to Mr. Kenner wherein SMC's production manager described him as "an inspiration to co-workers."

Tamra Elshaug - Mrs. Elshaug is the former Materials Purchasing Manager at SMC, who had worked for SMC for 26 years. SMC employee records also reflect glowing evaluations of Mrs. Elshaug, including a review signed by SMC President Carl McKay, wherein he stated that "Tammy has to be considered one of our most valuable employees" who "regularly exceeds all job requirements."

WHAT: Tele-Press Conference asking for investigation into $74 Million DoD contract to company producing sub-par helmet material and new tape recordings of employees discussing the dangers of producing these helmets will be publicly played and posted for the first time

WHEN: Tomorrow, Thursday, February 28, 2008 at 10:30 am.

CALL-IN INFORMATION: 866-211-5938 (no passcode required)

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is a non-profit legal watchdog group dedicated to holding public officials accountable for their actions.

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