Skip to comments.Former Boeing worker gets 5-month jail term (Chinook sabotage)
Posted on 01/06/2009 8:23:27 AM PST by A.A. Cunningham
Former Boeing worker gets 5-month jail term
By Joseph A. Slobodzian
Inquirer Staff Writer
A former sheet-metal assembler at Boeing Co. who admitted sabotaging a $23.8 million Army Chinook helicopter out of stress and job frustration was sentenced yesterday to five months in federal prison and five months of house arrest.
Matthew K. Montgomery apologized to Boeing, fellow union members - the May 10 incident put union workers under suspicion and forced a two-day halt in production at the Delaware County plant - his family and friends.
Surrick acknowledged the testimony of Montgomery's pastor, the Rev. Andrew Hudson of Chelten Baptist Church in Dresher, and agreed Montgomery seemed rehabilitated and unlikely to commit another crime.
But Surrick said he believed a prison term was needed to deter others "from engaging in the same kind of conduct."
Montgomery will surrender to federal prison officials Feb. 17. After five months in prison, Surrick said, Montgomery will be confined to his Trevose home for five months with electronic monitoring.
Surrick ordered Montgomery to pay Boeing restitution totaling $110,500. Montgomery will pay $200 a month over three years of supervised release when his confinement ends.
The incident to which Montgomery pleaded guilty was one of several last year at the Ridley Park plant.
A second incident - in which Montgomery had no role - involved a wrong washer installed in a transmission. Assistant U.S. Attorney Catherine Votaw said a probe of the washer incident continues.
In November, work on military aircraft was again suspended, for five days, after a plastic cap was found in the fuel line of a V-22 Osprey aircraft.
The incident resulted in work-rule changes, but no Boeing workers were disciplined, and officials have not discovered how the cap got there.
According to court records, Montgomery worked at Boeing's Rotorcraft Systems Division since September 2006, assigned to the line assembling combat-ready versions of the CH-47F helicopter.
Unhappy with the assignment, Montgomery lobbied for transfer to another job. On May 10, Montgomery was on his last shift working on a Chinook set for Sept. 1 completion. Montgomery admitted that before ending his shift, he took wire cutters and cut halfway through a two-inch thick bundle of 150 wires running from the cockpit to the avionics for the large two-rotor helicopter.
Defense attorney Maranna J. Meehan argued for a probationary sentence, telling Surrick that Montgomery was serious about his rehabilitation and reimbursing Boeing.
Since he was arrested and fired last May, Montgomery has worked as a $33,000-a-year supervisor for Impact Thrift Stores Inc., a chain of second-hand shops operated by his church. Hudson said he is also a steady volunteer at the church's food bank.
Votaw said she did not disagree with Meehan's assessment but argued for a prison term within the 10 to 16 months recommended by federal sentencing guidelines.
"The public needs to understand that consequences come as a result of one's actions," Votaw said.
Contact Joseph A. Slobodzian at 215-854-2985 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
And people complain about ceo's getting off easy?
admitted sabotaging a $23.8 million Army Chinook helicopter out of stress and job frustration
Something is missing from this story ... I just don't buy that part.
Will he get his union job back after his 5 month slap on the hand?
I am amazed.
The Chinook never would have passed pre-flight checks with the wires cut. Not attempted murder, but property damage and delaying the production of an aircraft our military needed.
Oh my. I know this church. It’s a good, solid one. He will certainly have a church home who will give him what support he needs.
I seriously doubt it.
Take out that many wires and it would fail some kind of acceptance test on the production line. It's not like it would have made it's way to flight test.
No way, see my post above.
So, no apologies for the soldiers and aviators of the United States Army? Well, at least you apologized to the union.
Plus all his wages during the time off for bad behavior. I wouldn't hire this guy as a sewer plug, no offense to the Sewer Workers of America Union.
How about apologizing to US troops then Boeing then his union (in that order).
I doubt that this amounted to "attempted murder". I would assume that with half (or even much fewer) of the 150 wires connecting the cockpit to the avionics severed, it would have been instantly clear to a pilot that something was very wrong, and unlikely that the helicopter could even get off the ground, even in the implausible event that the pilot assigned to take the brand new chopper for its first flight chose to ignore dozens of warnings signals and/or blank displays which should have been giving information.