In a 23-page memo prepared for his sentencing in federal court today, former Boeing Chief Financial Officer Michael Sears challenges the...

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In a 23-page memo prepared for his sentencing in federal court today, former Boeing Chief Financial Officer Michael Sears challenges the credibility of Darleen Druyun, the high-ranking Air Force procurement official he illegally hired into the company.

Significantly for Boeing, Sears does not say other Boeing executives participated in his “spontaneous decision” to hire Druyun.

However, he acknowledges he “shared information about Druyun’s potential recruitment with numerous Boeing officials.”

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But the memo says that is “hardly evidence that Mr. Sears was proceeding clandestinely.”

Sears, echoing the argument current Boeing executives have made, questions Druyun’s sworn statement that she improperly steered a variety of contracts to the company and deliberately overpaid it.

The sentencing memo submitted for Sears calls the hiring of Druyun a one-time mistake that “dramatically altered his life.”

The memo also suggests the U.S. attorney exaggerated the extent of his activity.

Regarding Druyun’s credibility, Sears says she “has told several conflicting stories in the course of the government’s investigation,” and was “under enormous legal and personal pressure” when she “belatedly confessed to supposed favoritism” toward Boeing.

Meanwhile, Sears, 57, noted that the price he paid has been very high. Once “a strong candidate to become the next CEO of Boeing,” Sears says, he is now unemployable in the defense industry. His legal expenses and the loss of his job and stock benefits have cost him at least $10 million, the memo says.

According to the memo, the government is asking that Sears serve up to six months in jail for one count of aiding and abetting a violation of federal conflict-of-interest laws. He asks to be sentenced to probation.