A couple of high-flying space figures – former NASA chief of staff Courtney Stadd and MirCorp founder Walt Anderson – have fallen on decidedly hard times after running afoul of the law. They now find themselves doing work normally done by working class stiffs.
Stadd is now washing dishes in Sterling, Virginia as he awaits sentencing on charges of breaking ethical laws and lying to investigators about his role in helping a client obtain nearly $10 million NASA funds. He describes his plight in a letter printed by Rand Simberg over at Transterrestrial Musings:
My aerospace business and family finances are devastated. A friend, a Palestinian who runs a cafe in Sterling, VA, offered me a job in his kitchen – washing dishes and such related duties. (It shows that Jews and Palestinians can indeed work together !). I was brought up by Great Depression parents to believe that all honest work is noble and so I took it. The owner and his hard working family members, with whom I am honored to work, are great people and teach me everyday about grace and dignity.
Stadd blames “serous political enemies” for his plight, finds it “very painful” that “there are those who would seek to associate me with any actions that would reflect negatively on the agency [NASA]”, and thanks supporters who have sent letters to the judge vouching for his character. He faces up to 15 years in prison when he is sentenced on Nov. 6.
Meanwhile, Anderson has already been in jail for near five years after pleading guilty to tax evasion. He was on The Space Show last week, talking to David Livingston proclaiming his innocence and talking about how his plea bargain was coerced by “C Team” prosecutors.
Anderson begun the interview by complaining about how bored he was and how the program at the Fairton Correctional Facility seemed to be designed to prevent anyone from contributing anything to society. However, he had worn them down and actually got a program started for a colony of feral cats at the mininum security federal penitentiary. A capture, neuter and release program.
If that’s not a metaphor for prison, I don’t know what is. Livingston quickly changed the subject.