Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said Friday that he bluntly told criminal investigators to pursue a widening bribery scandal “wherever it leads” and that he expects more people to get swept up in a case that has already tarred several senior officers and exposed an international, multimillion-dollar fraud scheme.
“I certainly don’t think we’ve seen the end of it,” Mabus told reporters at the Pentagon in his first public comments on the scandal since it came to light in September. “I would rather get bad headlines than let bad people get away.”
Mabus, the Navy’s top civilian official since 2009, spoke a day after he held an unusual video conference with the Navy’s fleet commanders and other admirals around the world to emphasize the need to uphold ethical standards and prevent contracting fraud. With the scandal showing no sign of abating, he also has ordered several reviews and an audit into how the Navy pays for port services.
The Navy has been tarnished by a succession of embarrassing revelations over the past three months about its relationship with a major foreign defense contractor, Singapore-based Glenn Defense Marine Asia, that has provided port services to U.S. ships and submarines in the Pacific for a quarter-century.