United States v. Schaltenbrand

930 F.2d 1554 (1991)

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United States v. Schaltenbrand

United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
930 F.2d 1554 (1991)

  • Written by Liz Nakamura, JD

Facts

Eugene Schaltenbrand (defendant), a colonel with the United States Air Force Reserve, was activated for a limited-term service period to assist the Air Force (plaintiff) on the Mexico Project, which involved selling C-130 aircraft to Mexico. Teledyne Brown Engineering (TBE) was the private contractor the Mexican government was most likely to select to provide maintenance services for the purchased C-130 aircraft. In April 1987, after attending a meeting between the Air Force, TBE, and the Mexican government, Schaltenbrand approached Harold Timmons, TBE’s vice-president, and inquired about working for TBE on the Mexico Project after Schaltenbrand’s Air Force activation period ended. Timmons encouraged Schaltenbrand to apply to lead TBE’s Mexico Project team. After applying, Schaltenbrand met with Timmons to discuss the role and Schaltenbrand’s qualifications. The Air Force deactivated Schaltenbrand on July 1, 1987, ending Schaltenbrand’s work with the Air Force on the Mexico Project. TBE formally offered Schaltenbrand the Mexico Project team-lead position on September 25; Schaltenbrand accepted on September 28. In November, as a TBE employee, Schaltenbrand attended a status conference between TBE and the Air Force. Schaltenbrand did not have decision-making authority, did not act as TBE’s spokesperson, and only contributed minimally. Schaltenbrand was subsequently indicted and convicted under two government conflict-of-interest statutes, 18 U.S.C. § 207 and 18 U.S.C. § 208, for leveraging his service as a reserve Air Force officer on the Mexico Project to secure financial gain and private employment. Schaltenbrand appealed, arguing that (1) he did not have a private financial interest in the Mexico Project until he received TBE’s formal job offer in September, at which point he was no longer on active Air Force duty; and (2) he did not attend the November meeting as TBE’s agent.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Kravitch, J.)

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