Defense Base Act Compensation Blog

The Modern Day DBA Casualty

Ex-TSA pick Harding’s firm got Army deal after he cited sleep apnea disability

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on March 28, 2010

By Robert O’Harrow Jr.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The firm owned by the decorated general who withdrew his nomination to lead the Transportation Security Administration had received a consulting contract worth almost $100 million from the Army after certifying he was a “service disabled veteran,” according to documents and interviews with government officials.

The disability he has cited was sleep apnea, a sometimes chronic breathing disorder that disrupts sleep.

Retired Army Maj. Gen. Robert A. Harding, who became a federal contractor in 2001 after serving at the highest levels of military intelligence, withdrew his name late Friday at the end of a week in which he had been repeatedly questioned about his contracting activities. His withdrawal also came after The Washington Post raised questions with the White House on Friday about his disabilities status.

The White House declined to comment about the $100 million contract, awarded in July 2008, or about Harding’s disability, including its cause, diagnosis or impact on his work.

White House spokesman Nicholas Shapiro said in a statement that in “nominating General Harding, the President tapped an individual with more than 35 years of military and intelligence experience who is dedicated to improving the security of our nation. The President is disappointed in this outcome but remains confident in the solid team of professionals at TSA.”

Attempts to reach Harding on Saturday at his home were unsuccessful. In a Friday statement released by the White House, Harding did not address the disability questions but said, “I feel that the distractions caused by my work as a defense contractor would not be good for this Administration nor for the Department of Homeland Security.”  Read the full story here

One Response to “Ex-TSA pick Harding’s firm got Army deal after he cited sleep apnea disability”

  1. Great article Mr. O’Harrow. The government put initiatives in place for small owned businesses for disabled veterans. I know, my husband is one of them, A DISABLED VETERAN, who fought in a war. We are a GSA schedule holder, qualified vendor. Guess what, we can’t even get our foot in the door for work. We apply for the contracts and find out they are “set asides” or given to Washington Insiders. The whole initiative of this program is to help veterans get work. We don’t have any friends in high places. The irony is we are a qualified small disabled veteran owned business and can’t break in. Maybe more should be investigated with his program.

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