Officials at a West Valley company say they have no idea why their contract to build a navigational antenna has apparently piqued the interest of investigators probing allegations of bribery and insider trading in the defense industry.
"We saw an article and byline from Boston Globe," said Steve Hemming, program manager at JTP Radiation, 2450 Progress Dr., West Valley City. "That is the first indication we had that anybody was interested. We haven't been subpoenaed."The Boston Globe, citing investigators and Pentagon sources, reported Friday that the defense industry probe is focusing on seven Navy contracts. Among them was the $2.8 million TACAN radio navigation program, which is designed to give bearing and range information for Navy aircraft. The antenna is to be built by JTP.
The investigation, which apparently involved wiretaps, is concentrating on a program developed by former Navy Secretary John F. Lehman to cut weapons costs by increasing competition among Navy contractors. A grand jury is being impaneled to hear the wiretaps and other evidence developed by U.S. Attorney Henry Hudson.
Dean Thornburg, JTP vice president and general manager, said the antenna is designed to feed signals from a ground station to aircraft to give the aircraft the bearing and distance to the station.
Hemming said JTP won the contract on June 8 under a small-business program that gives priority to firms with fewer employees and resources than the large national firms.
Hemming said they probably won't attempt to contact the investigators; in fact, he said he doesn't know whom to contact. He said he'll wait to hear some official word from the investigators.