News release from Sen. Bob Corker:
WASHINGTON – The office of U.S. Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., announced today that Rob Strayer will serve as Corker’s legislative director and general counsel.
A 2000 graduate of Vanderbilt Law School, Strayer joins Corker’s staff from the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington where he serves as director of the Homeland Security Project chaired by 9/11 Commission Co-Chairs Tom Kean and Lee Hamilton. The group is tasked with reviewing implementation of the commission’s recommendations and analyzing emerging national security threats.
Strayer is a veteran Senate aide, previously serving from 2006 to 2011 as deputy staff director of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee. In that role Strayer oversaw a wide range of issues in the committee’s jurisdiction with an emphasis on improving counterterrorism policy. He also played a key role in a committee investigation from 2005 to 2006 into the government’s response to Hurricane Katrina.
Dr. Michael Strayer, a former U.S. Department of Energy executive who was indicted last month on 13 federal charges, died earlier this week in Loudoun County, Va., reports the News Sentinel.
Strayer, who was involved in operations at Oak Ridge National Laboratories at the time of the alleged crimes, lived with his wife lived in a Virginia home that authorities allege was purchased with government funds diverted to their personal use.
A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Maryland, where Strayer was charged with conspiring to defraud the government of more than $1.2 million, confirmed Strayer’s death and said the charges against him would be dismissed after the court received the defendant’s death certificate.
However, Marcia Murphy said Strayer’s death would not affect the charges against his widow, Karen Earle, a co-defendant in the case and alleged recipient of federal funds for bogus services.
Murphy said she had no information on the cause or circumstances of Strayer’s death.
“I know he passed away. I don’t know how,” she said. “We can’t be the ones confirming that.”
Murphy said there was an investigation under way in Loudoun County, which is in Northern Virginia outside Washington, D.C.
Michael Strayer, a former senior executive at the U.S. Department of Energy and longtime employee at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and his wife, Karen Earle, have been indicted in an alleged scheme that diverted $1.2 million in government funds to their personal use.
From Frank Munger’s report:
Strayer, 69, and Earle, 48, were arraigned last week in U.S. District Court in Maryland. Both entered not guilty pleas, and a trial date was tentatively scheduled for mid-August.
The case revolves around the alleged misuse of federal funding for the SciDAC (Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing) Review, a Department of Energy publication that Strayer started soon after he left ORNL in 2004 to take a job at DOE headquarters in Washington.
As DOE’s associate director of Advanced Scientific Computing Research, Strayer used program funds for the publication to tout the work done by the agency’s scientific computing programs and related partnerships with universities.
According to the federal indictment, Strayer initiated a sole-source contracting process via ORNL to select a foreign publishing company — identified in the indictment as “Corporation A,” but reported to be IOP Publishing, based in England — to publish the SciDAC Review. In 2006, the indictment said, Strayer directed the publisher to hire Earle as a $60,000-a-year consultant “despite Earle’s lack of relevant qualifications” for the job.
“Shortly thereafter, Strayer began a romantic relationship with her and directed that the publisher later increase her consulting fees,” the Justice Department said in information released by the U.S. attorney’s office in Maryland after the 13-count indictment was returned May 16.
Over time, Earle’s role broadened, and she was allegedly paid tens of thousands of dollars to acquire articles for SciDAC Review, even though the actual articles were provided free of charge by Oak Ridge and DOE’s other national labs — at the direction of Strayer, according to the criminal charges.