PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A leader of a kickbacks scheme that cost the Navy $18 million has been given another week to decide whether to attempt to withdraw his guilty plea.
The Newport Daily News reports that former Naval Undersea Warfare Center civilian employee Ralph M. Mariano now has until Friday. He pleaded guilty in May in federal court to conspiracy, theft of government property and tax evasion, but now says his former lawyer had a conflict of interest.
Mariano and his girlfriend, Mary O’Rourke, signed plea deals that are contingent on one another. If either does not plead guilty, the other’s deal would be void.
Four others have pleaded guilty in the case.
Prosecutors say Mariano used his position to add money to contractors, who then funneled kickbacks to Mariano and others.