A former executive for the Pentagon’s top defense contractor collected $1.66 million in salary, consulting fees and retirement pay from two top defense contractors last year before becoming the Republican chief of staff for the Senate Armed Services Committee in February.
The appointment is the second by a Republican member of either the House or Senate Armed Services committee to provoke criticism from independent groups that consider it a conflict of interest.
Ann Elise Sauer, who was appointed to her present job by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., worked for more than a decade as a vice president and lobbyist for Lockheed Martin before leaving in Jan. 2011, according to a financial disclosure she made to the Secretary of the Senate in April.
In 2011, she was paid a salary and bonus totaling $660,390, deferred compensation of $769,574, and $232,872 labeled as “retired pay” on the financial disclosure form. Lockheed is the Defense Department’s largest corporate contractor, earning $28.3 billion, or 61 percent, of its sales from the department in 2011, according to the company’s annual report.
Sauer then worked as a consultant and analyst for BAE Systems, earning $55,000 from the firm, according to her financial disclosure form. BAE is the Pentagon’s ninth largest contractor.
The Project on Government Oversight’s Ben Freeman said Thursday that Sauer’s appointment to the principal Senate committee tasked with overseeing all military spending and contracting creates a huge conflict of interest.
“$1.6 million — that gives a lot of reasons to remember your former employer,” said ...