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Last Updated: Friday, 1 October, 2004, 17:13 GMT 18:13 UK
US air force official imprisoned
Darleen Druyun
Druyun had a reputation for being a tough negotiator
The former number two buyer for the US air force has been sentenced to nine months in jail for corruption.

Darleen Druyun, 56, admitted to boosting the price of a tanker plane deal to win favour with Boeing, the company she was about to work for.

She also pleaded guilty to giving Boeing a competitor's secret data.

The judge said the stain of her offence was very severe, and the case "must stand as an example", given the high office she held.

Daughter spared

Judge TS Ellis at the US district court in Alexandria, Virginia, said her sentence was stiffer than it might have been, given that she had failed a lie detector examination.

Druyun also received a fine of $5,000, three years of supervised release and 150 hours of community service.

She agreed to a deal to spare her daughter, Heather McKee, from prosecution for passing messages between herself and a top Boeing official.

A Boeing plant
The tanker contract was worth billions
Ms McKee is reportedly also an employee at Boeing.

Druyun played a major role in the early stages of a controversial tanker deal which Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld put on hold late last year, pending an assessment of the air force's need for the aircraft.

After failing a lie detector test, Druyun admitted earlier this year she "did favour the Boeing company in certain negotiations as a result of her employment negotiations and other favours provided by Boeing".

She said she had agreed to a higher price for the tankers than she thought was appropriate.

"The defendant did so, in her view, as a 'parting gift to Boeing' and because of her desire to ingratiate herself with Boeing, her future employer," a statement of facts said.

She also admitted giving what she regarded as proprietary data from Airbus to Boeing during the tanker discussions.

At the sentencing, she apologised, saying she was "truly sorry for my actions".

Heads rolled at Boeing over the Pentagon scandal.

The firm had become more dependent on military contracts amid a sharp downturn in demand for passenger jets from recession-weary airlines.

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24 Nov 03  |  Business

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