- Associated Press - Friday, September 25, 2015

PITTSBURGH (AP) - A former civilian contractor who worked at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland will spend two years on probation for helping the vice commander of a base near Pittsburgh receive extra pay in exchange for a no-show job.

Robert St. Clair, 51, of Bel Air, Maryland, falsified records to help Air National Guard Col. Gerard Mangis get the illegal pay because Mangis created the fake job for St. Clair. Mangis did that while vice commander of the 171st Air Refueling Wing based at Pittsburgh International Airport.

Mangis, 60, of Shaler Township, resigned in September 2011 and pleaded guilty to his role in the scheme in July. He faces sentencing Nov. 17.

St. Clair apologized but called his actions a “bad decision,” drawing a rebuke from U.S. District Judge Arthur Schwab during Friday’s sentencing.

The judge told St. Clair his actions were “a criminal act” and not “just a bad decision.”

Sometime in 2002, St. Clair had personal financial problems and needed income to keep from losing his security clearance, which would have threatened his job in Maryland. That’s when Mangis agreed to fudge some paperwork to make St. Clair an enlisted technical sergeant at Mangis’ base.

St. Clair was paid for the no-show job and received various military benefits without doing anything even though, at more than 300 pounds, he was far too overweight to have qualified for the position in real life, federal prosecutors said.

In return, St. Clair finagled a way to pad Mangis’ pay, prosecutors contend.

St. Clair’s worked as a financial analyst and was responsible for allocating “workdays” - or eight-hour paid shifts - to Guard bases around the country. Those workdays were supposed to be assigned to base employees as compensation for various duties.

But Mangis, instead, used extra workdays assigned to him to collect pay over and above his $128,000 annual salary. Prosecutors have agreed that Mangis will be sentenced for being overpaid by $30,000 to $70,000 - the amount that Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Melucci said can be “readily proven.” The amount prosecutors believe Mangis actually received has never been publicly disclosed.

Mangis also had subordinates run personal errands - which Melucci said were known as “Mangis missions” - including paying his bills, working on his car, and repairing a toilet and installing a basketball hoop at his home.

St. Clair’s attorney, Tina Miller, told the judge that St. Clair was just one of Mangis’ “pawns” and, so far, the only one to acknowledge his guilt.

Miller declined to comment on the sentence, which confines St. Clair to his home for the first six months and requires him to repay nearly $16,000 to the Air National Guard.

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