PITTSBURGH – A former civilian contractor who worked at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland pleaded guilty Monday to helping the vice commander of a base near Pittsburgh receive extra pay in exchange for getting the civilian a no-show job at the Pennsylvania base.
Robert St. Clair, 50, of Bel Air, Md., entered the pleas to conspiracy, theft and false claims against the United States before U.S. District Court Judge Arthur Schwab in Pittsburgh. Prosecutors contend the overall scheme cost the government about $300,000 but didn’t say how much St. Clair benefited.
St. Clair was charged last month along with retired Air National Guard Col. Gerard Mangis, who resigned in September 2011 as vice commander of the 171st Air Refueling Wing based at Pittsburgh International Airport.
Federal prosecutors said Mangis became friends with St. Clair when the Maryland man worked for the National Guard Bureau at Andrews.
Sometime in 2002, St. Clair encountered unspecified financial problems and needed income to keep from losing his security clearance, which would have threatened his job in Maryland. That’s when Mangis agreed to fudge some paperwork to make St. Clair an enlisted technical sergeant at Mangis’ base — a no-show job for which St. Clair was paid and received various military benefits without doing anything, Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Melucci told the judge.
In return, St. Clair finagled a way to pad Mangis’ pay, prosecutors contend.
St. Clair’s attorney, Tina Miller, didn’t immediately return a call for comment Monday, nor did Mangis’ attorney, Charles Porter Jr.
St. Clair faces 18 to 24 months in federal prison under federal sentencing guidelines when he returns to court Dec. 12.
St. Clair’s work as a financial analyst included allocating “workdays” — or eight-hour paid shifts — to Guard bases around the country. Those workdays were supposed to be assigned to base employees, so they could be paid for performing various duties. But Mangis, instead, used extra workdays assigned to him to collect pay over and above his $128,000 annual salary.