DOD IG: Acquisition Official Didn’t Willfully Hide Northrop Ties

Former Air Force acquisition official Richard Lombardi did not willfully fail to report a conflict of interest involving his spouse’s Northrop Grumman retirement account and did not participate in any improper activities, the Defense Department Inspector General said in a report released Wednesday. Lombardi served as the Air Force’s acting assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition while his spouse had a retirement account with Northrop Grumman following her resignation in 2008. Lombardi did not disclose this connection on his public financial disclosure forms from 2009 to 2015, though the Inspector General found that Lombardi did not knowingly and willfully fail to report the retirement account. In February 2016, Lombardi self-reported to the Air Force Office of General Counsel that he discovered the retirement account, and then recused himself from all acquisition matters involving the company. While the IG report does not allege wrongdoing, it states that Lombardi was granted access to the Long-Range Strike Bomber after the decision was made to award it to Northrop Grumman. Lombardi’s duties in the program did not involve selecting the company, and only focused on preparing the public announcement, the report states. Lombardi now serves as the Air Force’s Special Assistant for the Invisible Combat Wounds Initiative (Read the IG report)