The president and four other top executives of Sierra Research have been suspended pending the outcome of a federal investigation of several of the firm's programs.
Employees of the Cheektowaga firm, which holds many defense contracts, were told of the suspensions in a letter Monday, according to company spokeswoman Judith A. Rucki. In the letter, Robert N. Parker, president of LTV Missiles & Electronics Group, which owns Sierra Research, informed employees that the five had been suspended with pay immediately.
Those suspended are Tom Cobb, president; Stu Penny, vice president of business development; Roger Witt, vice president of operations; Gene Streips, director of business development, and Jack Borkowski, project engineer.
"As some of you may be aware, the federal government currently is conducting a review of certain Sierra programs," Parker stated in the letter. "These suspensions are with pay and are not intended to prejudge any involvement of these individuals in the matters being reviewed by the government or constitute any final determination regarding their employment status with Sierra."
U.S. Attorney Dennis C. Vacco confirmed Monday there is a "federal review" into some of the programs at Sierra Research. Vacco would not elaborate on the nature of the government's review.
Ms. Rucki also declined to comment on the letter from Parker or the investigation.
Company sources indicated the government scrutiny has been going on for some time.
Parker told employees he is assuming Cobb's duties, and all those who report to Cobb will report to him. John Buck, vice president/general manager of electronic products, will be in charge in his absence from Sierra, Parker said.
"Other necessary responsibilities will be assigned next week," Parker said in the letter. "The company will implement any additional measures necessary for the successful performance of Sierra's ongoing obligations."
Sierra makes flight-inspection systems for military aircraft as well as components for anti-submarine warfare and other electronic systems. Most of the company's business is with the military. It employs about 900 workers.