Court records show former NASA chief plans to plead guilty in Mississippi contracts case

By Holbrook Mohr, AP
Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Ex-NASA chief to plead guilty in contracts case

JACKSON, Miss. — Federal court records show that NASA’s former chief of staff plans to plead guilty in a case stemming from a $600,000 contract awarded to Mississippi State University, a client of his consulting firm.

Courtney Stadd faces nine charges, including conspiracy. Court documents didn’t indicate to which charges he would plead during a hearing scheduled later Wednesday in Gulfport.

Stadd’s attorneys didn’t immediately respond to messages.

Prosecutors say Stadd conspired with Liam Sarsfield, NASA’s former chief deputy engineer, to guide contracts where they wanted. Sarsfield pleaded guilty in November to one count.

Stadd was NASA’s chief and White House liaison from 2001 to 2003. Stadd was convicted in 2009 and sentenced to probation in a different case for steering a $10 million contract to MSU.

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