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US: DynCorp Fires Executive Counsel

by August ColeWall Street Journal
November 28th, 2009

DynCorp International Inc. said it has terminated one of its top lawyers, a move that comes on the heels of the government contractor's disclosure that some of its subcontractors may have broken U.S. law in trying to speed up getting licenses and visas overseas.

The lawyer, Curtis Schehr, was a senior vice president, executive counsel and the firm's chief compliance officer, a position created earlier this year. He joined DynCorp in 2006 as general counsel.

DYNCORP
Getty Images

A DynCorp trainer inspected a detonating wire in Afghanistan in March.

The company disclosed the "termination without cause" in a filing Wednesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The move was effective Monday, according to the filing.

It couldn't be determined whether Mr. Schehr's departure is connected with the licensing and visas matter. A DynCorp spokesman declined to comment, saying it was a personnel matter.

Mr. Schehr didn't immediately return a call seeking comment.

DynCorp's business in overseas hot spots is growing. In Afghanistan, the Falls Church, Va., company recently won a major Defense Department contract worth billions of dollars to build bases and supply U.S. forces.

Yet the company has grappled with a series of setbacks that have put it on the defensive over its oversight and management of government contracts.

The most recent issue was revealed in a Nov. 9 filing with the SEC. DynCorp said subcontractors may have spent as much as $300,000 to "expedite the issuance of a limited number of visas and licenses from foreign government agencies," which may have violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

DynCorp hasn't said which U.S. government contract was involved. The company said it notified the SEC and the Justice Department after discovering the problem.

There have been other issues at DynCorp recently. Following Iraq's decision to oust Blackwater Worldwide from Iraq, DynCorp was supposed to move quickly provide helicopters for U.S. diplomats in Baghdad. But that has been delayed well into next year as DynCorp's aircraft weren't suited to the job.

In March, a DynCorp contractor in Afghanistan was found dead after an apparent drug overdose. In a statement for a September hearing of the Commission on Wartime Contracting, DynCorp's chief executive acknowledged the incident and said the company had "reinforced" its standards and implemented new training.

In May, the company named Mr. Schehr to the chief compliance officer position, which had "management oversight for the company's ethics and business conduct program, related internal investigations, internal audit, and trade compliance, which includes all export and import activities."

As chief compliance officer, Mr. Schehr reported directly to DynCorp Chief Executive Officer William Ballhaus and the board of directors' audit committee.





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