Rehired KBR driver in Iraq caught with child porn — again

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A former bus driver for Iraq war contractor KBR Inc. who was fired in 2006 for possessing child pornography got rehired less than a year later, and has again been caught with a large collection of child porn, according to prosecutors.

Ira L. Waltrip of Lampasas, Texas, who had been working for KBR at Camp Liberty in Baghdad, was charged this week in U.S. District Court with possessing child pornography.

According to a court affidavit, KBR fired Waaltrip in January 2006 when he was assigned to the Al Asad Air Base in Iraq after he was discovered with a collection of child pornography.

At the time, authorities with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service elected not to prosecute Waltrip because they said they lacked sufficient evidence that the pornography in question actually depicted minors.

KBR rehired Waltrip in December 2006 as a bus driver. Again, Waltrip was caught with an extensive library of child pornography, some of which appeared to depict children as young as four to six years old.

It is not entirely clear how Waltrip managed to get rehired by KBR. A spokeswoman for the Houston-based company, Heather Browne, issued a statement saying that KBR keeps a list of employees ineligible for rehire.

“Unfortunately, KBR’s practice on making employees ineligible for rehire was not followed in this case,” she said. “The company has addressed the situation.”

Last year, a contractor who worked at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison for L-3 Communications Holdings Inc. was sentenced to more than three years in prison on similar charges.

Federal prosecutors brought the case against Waltrip and the Abu Ghraib contractor under the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act, which allows for military contractors to be prosecuted in federal courts for crimes they commit while overseas.

May 9, 2008, 6:19PM
Associated Press

Source: Houston Chronicle

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