July 10, 2015 |
A military contractor at the center of what the Defense Department has described as the largest contracting and bribery case to come out of the Iraq War was sentenced to 4 1/2 years in federal prison Wednesday. But as George H. Lee Jr. saw it, he did little, if anything, wrong. In a rambling speech to U.S. District Judge Joel H. Slomsky, Lee, 72, a Montgomery County native, said he was remorseful, yet repeatedly denied having done anything to be remorseful for. Despite pleading guilty to bribery this year, Lee rejected prosecution claims that he gave more than $1 million in cash, jewelry, spa treatments, and hotel stays to Army officials who steered $20 million in contracts his way. "I know what I did was wrong, but I just have this feeling that I didn't do anything wrong," he said.
June 16, 2015 |
Joseph F. Tomasello, 61, of Cape May Court House, an Atlantic County sheriff's officer from 1980 to 2005, died of pancreatic cancer Tuesday, June 9, at home. Born in Hammonton, Mr. Tomasello graduated from Pleasantville High School and served in the Army in West Germany in the 1970s. He returned to duty in the New Jersey Army National Guard, where he was a supply sergeant in charge of weapons at the National Guard armory in Atlantic City, said his wife, Irene. Mr. Tomasello joined the National Guard in the late 1970s, his wife said, and retired in 2005, at the same time that he retired from the sheriff's office.
February 22, 2015 |
The picture painted by federal prosecutors is worthy of a spy novel: Globe-hopping trips to clandestine meetings in luxury hotels. Coded ledgers tracking cash bribes shoved into shopping bags. Raucous parties involving drugs, alcohol, and prostitutes. These were the methods by which Montgomery County military contractor George H. Lee Jr. hustled for poorly monitored government business during the Iraq war's early days. On Friday, Lee, 71, chairman of Kuwait-based Lee Dynamics International, pleaded guilty to bribery charges, the latest development in a years-long investigation aimed at exposing fraud and graft that emerged in the 2003 run-up to the war. So far, five high-ranking Army officers tied to Lee have admitted accepting $1.2 million in cash, jewelry, spa treatments, and hotel stays in exchange for steering $20 million in contracts his way. Stoop-shouldered and hoarse, Lee entered his plea in a federal courtroom in Philadelphia two months after Thai immigration agents detained him in what prosecutors say was an attempt to flee from justice.
July 3, 2014 |
IT WAS Arnaldo Cardona's first time at Wawa's Annual Hoagie Day celebration yesterday, and though he was dressed in a black T-shirt and dripped sweat, he didn't let the 93-degree weather spoil his mood. While others held umbrellas to shield themselves from the sun and fanned themselves with maps from the National Constitution Center, Cardona shimmied his shoulders and moved his feet to Michael Jackson's "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)" blasting over the speakers to the crowd. "I'm hoping there's going to be a nice, big sandwich for me," said Cardona, 28, of North Philly.
August 12, 2013 |
With 17 months to the end of 2014 - the tentative withdrawal deadline for U.S. troops - President Obama has said the war in Afghanistan is winding down. So on Monday, Pfc. Jordan Hayes will kiss his fiancée, parents, and 5-year-old brother goodbye and depart for a nine-month tour deconstructing military bases, tearing down air strips and fence lines; all the tasks necessary to erase the footprint of a 12-year war. "Honestly, I didn't think I'd be going," Hayes said, holding his fiancée's hand at the Army National Guard's Joint Military and Family Assistance Center in Bordentown on Saturday.
May 19, 2013
Reserving a larger defense role The current guidance from the Defense Department is that the United States will no longer conduct long-term stability operations, despite 50 years of doing so in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosovo, Vietnam, and Korea. Presently, we are said to be "pivoting" to the Pacific Rim, needing to maintain a large military presence to defend that area. Given our precarious economy and exploding debt, the nation must find a way to provide an adequate land force at a sustainable cost.
April 12, 2013
Two decorated Pennsylvania national guardsmen who had been serving in Afghanistan since last year were killed in a helicopter crash this week, officials announced Wednesday. Chief Warrant Officer 3 Matthew Ruffner, 34, of Harrisburg, and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jarett Yoder, 26, of Mohnton, near Reading, were piloting an Apache helicopter during what was described as a reconnaissance mission Tuesday in the eastern Nangarhar province when the aircraft crashed, according to Staff Sgt. Matt Jones of the state National Guard.
November 9, 2012
MILES KAMSON, with only one leg to stand on, can't wait for his deployment to Afghanistan next year. When he gets there, he will stand on his own right leg and a left leg from Prosthetic Innovations. He will be on active duty with an artificial limb. Many Americans forget we are at war, but Kamson doesn't. A 24-year-old Simon Gratz grad, the one-legged Kamson plays basketball and football; he bicycles and enjoys Nordic skiing. It's not where he thought he'd be two years ago after his "crotch rocket" - a 2008 GSXR Suzuki - went out from under him on I-295 South, just inside Delaware.
March 11, 2012 |
The president may be talking about downsizing the military, but the size of the average soldier is growing. At the Camp Shelby training base near Hattiesburg, Miss., measuring sticks and high-tech body scans are being used on 1,000 servicemen and -women. Early findings show that soldiers are larger and heavier than when the last survey was taken in 1988, an increase in keeping with that found in the general population, said project leader Cynthia Blackwell. Analyzing the data will take about two years.
March 6, 2012 |
The president may be talking about downsizing the military, but the size of the average soldier is growing. At the Camp Shelby training base near Hattiesburg, Miss., measuring sticks and high-tech body scans are being used on 1,000 servicemen and women. Early findings show soldiers are larger and heavier than when the last survey was taken in 1988, an increase in keeping with that found in the general population, said project leader Cynthia Blackwell. It will take about two years to analyze all the data.