Exclusive: Top CIA Official Under Investigation
No. 3 Official at CIA Is Subject of Investigation Related to Bribery Probe
By BRIAN ROSS, RICHARD ESPOSITO and RHONDA SCHWARTZ
March 3, 2006
A stunning investigation of bribery and corruption in Congress has spread to the CIA, ABC News has learned.
The CIA inspector general has opened an investigation into the spy agency's executive director, Kyle "Dusty" Foggo, and his connections to two defense contractors accused of bribing a member of Congress and Pentagon officials.
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The CIA released an official statement on the matter to ABC News, saying: "It is standard practice for CIA's Office of Inspector General -- an aggressive, independent watchdog -- to look into assertions that mention agency officers. That should in no way be seen as lending credibility to any allegation.
"Mr. Foggo has overseen many contracts in his decades of public service. He reaffirms that they were properly awarded and administered."
The CIA said Foggo, the No. 3 official at the CIA, would have no further comment. He will remain in his post at the CIA during the investigation, according to officials.
Two former CIA officials told ABC News that Foggo oversaw contracts involving at least one of the companies accused of paying bribes to Congressman Randall "Duke" Cunningham. The story was first reported by Newsweek magazine.
Friendship With Defense Contractor
The California Republican has pleaded guilty after admitting he accepted $2.4 million in bribes in exchange for arranging defense contracts. He was sentenced today to eight years and four months in prison for corruption. Federal law enforcement officials said Cunningham is cooperating and the investigation is continuing.
As executive director of the CIA, Foggo oversees the administration of the giant spy agency. He was appointed to the post by CIA Director Porter Goss after working as a midlevel procurement supervisor, according to former CIA officials.
While based in Frankfurt, Germany, he oversaw and approved contracts for CIA operations in Iraq.
Foggo is a longtime friend of Brent Wilkes, referred to as co-conspirator No. 1 in government documents filed in the Cunningham investigation. The two played high school football and were in each other's weddings.
According to government documents, Wilkes gave Cunningham $630,000 in cash and gifts in exchange for help in getting government contracts.
Wilkes was the founder of ADSC Inc, in 1995. Under Wilkes, the company obtained more than $95 million in government contracts.
Officials say they could not describe the CIA contracts in question because some of them were classified secret.
Cunningham is involved in what prosecutors call a corruption case with no parallel in the long history of the U.S. Congress. He actually priced the illegal services he provided.
Prices came in the form of a "bribe menu" that detailed how much it would cost contractors to essentially order multimillion-dollar government contracts, according to documents submitted by federal prosecutors for today's sentencing hearing.
"The length, breadth and depth of Cunningham's crimes," the sentencing memorandum states, "are unprecedented for a sitting member of Congress."
Prosecutors will ask federal Judge Larry Burns to impose the statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
The sentencing memorandum includes the California Republican's "bribery menu" on one of his congressional note cards, "starkly framed" under the seal of the United States Congress.
The card shows an escalating scale for bribes, starting at $140,000 and a luxury yacht for a $16 million Defense Department contract. Each additional $1 million in contract value required a $50,000 bribe.
The rate dropped to $25,000 per additional million once the contract went above $20 million.
At one point Cunningham was living on a yacht named after him, "The Dukester," docked near Capitol Hill, courtesy of a defense company president.
ABC News' Vic Walter contributed to this report.