Sunday, February 8, 2009

DildoGate: The Lockheed Martin Sex Toy Scandal

Lockheed Whistleblower Alleges Sex Toy Slap-Back
By Noah Shachtman
January 29, 2009

In April 2004, defense behemoth Lockheed Martin started a "Pen Pal" program that matched up employees with reserve troops overseas. The worker was supposed to send the reservist letters or care packages -- nothing over $20, and nothing unethical. So Andrea Brown was surprised, two years later, when she heard that her boss allegedly sent sex toys to one soldier and a laptop to another.

Worse, there was talk that Brown's boss, vice president Wendy Owen, might be "charging the expenses to Lockheed, which would then pass the expenses on to the government," as the Denver Post recounts. So Brown spoke up. And for that, she claims in a lawsuit, "she was told she had to reapply for her job and to move out of her office and go work in a storage space without a phone."

A Lockheed spokesperson says the "allegations are without merit." In March, a Labor Department administrative law judge in Denver is supposed to rule on the case. In the meantime, both Brown and Owen have left Lockheed Martin. And the "Pen Pal" project has been canceled.

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