A business executive charged in the Pentagon fraud case testified Friday that no one at his company ever indicated that one of the firm's consultants was paying illegal bribes to a Navy official.
Dale Schnittjer, a former vice president at Teledyne Electronics in Newbury Park, Calif., was the third of three defendants to take the stand in his defense in the trial in U.S. District Court.On Thursday, Schnittjer's associates at Teledyne, George Kaub and Eugene Sullivan, also denied they knew about illegal activities carried out by William Parkin, a private consultant Teledyne had hired in 1985. The three defendants are charged with bribery, conspiracy, wire fraud and making false statements.
Schnittjer's testimony came as U.S. District Judge Richard Williams indicated he would ask attorneys in the case to make their closing arguments today. That means the case could go to the jury as early as Friday.
Schnittjer, Sullivan's successor, said he arrived at Teledyne Electronics in the summer of 1987 nearly two years after Parkin was hired for $10,000. Parkin's 1985 contract called for him to receive $150,000 for future work should Teledyne be awarded a $24 million contact to build hand-held radar equipment. The Pentagon selected Teledyne for that job in July, 1987.
At a meeting of Teledyne executives after the awarding of the contract, Schnittjer said "there was a general feeling that Teledyne Electronics had an obligation" to honor the deal with Parkin "because the (radar) contract had been awarded," Schnittjer said.
At the meeting, Schnittjer said no one indicated Parkin had done anything illegal to help secure the contract. Parkin, who has pleaded guilty in the case and is cooperating with the government, testified he bribed a Navy official for inside information about the radar contract.
The only people to be tried in the case so far are Schnittjer, Sullivan and Kaub.