March has been a tumultuous month for aerospace manufacturer Boeing. Earlier in the month, one of Boeing’s model 737 Max airplanes crashed after taking off from Addis Ababa. It was later alleged that a software update for that particular model had been delayed by the recent government shutdown.
Boeing is in the news again, this time due to the actions of a former long-time employee. Patrick Shanahan, who worked for the manufacturer for 31 years, now acts as the United States acting Defense Secretary. Shanahan is reportedly under investigation for promoting Boeing over its competitors.
DoD IG spokesperson Dwrena Allen said, “The Department of Defense Office of Inspector General has decided to investigate complaints we recently received that Acting Secretary Patrick Shanahan allegedly took actions to promote his former employer, Boeing, and disparage its competitors, allegedly in violation of ethics rules.”
Bloomberg News reported that Shanahan had pushed the airline to buy Boeing’s F-35 airplanes, rather than Lockheed Martin’s F-15’s. He told Bloomberg in an interview, “What’s really important for people to always take away is I’ve found the aircraft — the F-35 as a product, its capability and performance — to be eye-watering. It is high, high-performing — no ambiguity — no ifs, ands or buts.”
Shanahan is denying the claims. He said through spokesperson, Lt. Col. Joseph Buccino, “Acting Secretary Shanahan has at all times remained committed to upholding his ethics agreement filed with the DoD. This agreement ensures any matters pertaining to Boeing are handled by appropriate officials within the Pentagon to eliminate any perceived or actual conflict of interest issue with Boeing.”