Defense industry consultant William Parkin, a key figure in the unfolding Pentagon corruption scandal who had been negotiating a plea agreement, attempted suicide by taking an overdose of pills, sources close to the case said Monday.

Parkin's daughter found him at his home Saturday, and he was rushed to nearby Alexandria Hospital, the sources said. Parkin was listed in fair condition Monday night.U.S. District Judge Richard Williams continued for a week the scheduled March 27 beginning of Parkin's trial on a 25-count conspiracy and bribery indictment.

Parkin is among about a dozen industry consultants who were subject of FBI and Naval Investigative Service wiretaps during the 21/2-year investigation - code-named Operation Ill Wind - into the alleged passing of bribes to Pentagon procurement officials in exchange for insider contract information.