The Department of Justice just announced that Jimmy Mayberry, former special assistant to the Associate Director of Minerals Revenue Management (MRM) at the Minerals Management Service (MMS), pleaded guilty to a felony violation of the conflict of interest law. Mayberry faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison, a fine of $250,000, and supervised release following his incarceration.
In the press release, DOJ describes how Mayberry worked with his supervisor--who POGO has confirmed is retired Associate Director of MMS Lucy Dennett--to develop a consulting position for him following his retirement. Although the position was required by law to be subject to a fair and open competitive bidding process: “Mayberry also admitted that in his official capacity before retiring, he created the 'statement of work' that would subsequently be used to define the position and evaluate the bids of Mayberry and his competitors.” Surprisingly, Mayberry was the only applicant to receive an "excellent" rating on each qualification category. It's also worth noting that Lucy Dennett retired February 1 of this year, while numerous investigations into misconduct and criminal activity were pending against the agency.
POGO has also learned that this kind of revolving door "post-retirement contract" is far from unusual at MMS, and that charges against other retirees are coming soon.
-- Mandy Smithberger