FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE THURSDAY, DECEMBER 29, 1994

CRM (202) 616-2765 TDD (202) 514-1888

OAKLEY PAYS $5,000 FINE FOR IMPROPER LOBBYING WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Department of Justice announced today that the former head of the State Department's CounterTerrorism Office, Ambassador Robert B. Oakley, has agreed to pay a $5,000 civil fine to resolve allegations he improperly lobbied the U.S. government to have restrictions lifted on Lebanon's Middle East Airlines after he left public service in 1992. The airline was banned from flying to and from the United States in 1985 because of inadequate attention to the problem of terrorists using the Beirut International Airport. The ban is still in effect. Oakley was investigated for violating a post-employment lobbying restriction, 18 U.S.C. Section 207 (a)(1), which imposes a lifetime bar on trying to influence government action on a matter in which a former official participated personally and substantially while in the government. Oakley received a total of $100,000 in fees over two years, some of which was for improper lobbying activities. According to the public filings, Oakley, who ran the counter-terrorism office from 1984 through 1986, took part personally and substantially in the presidential decision to ban Middle East Airlines. In 1992, after he left the State Department, Oakley and his consulting company, C&O Resources, contracted with the airline to assist it to get the ban removed, and made written and oral presentations to government officials during 1992 and 1993 on the airline's behalf. In its filings, the Department charged that Oakley's actions violated the strict post-employment restrictions even though Oakley fully disclosed that he was representing Middle East Airlines to the officials he contacted, and did not recommend that the ban be lifted until and unless the airline and the Beirut International Airport made significant improvements to their security. Oakley's activities did not cause the State Department to take any action with regard to the airline. Oakley, who also served as Ambassador to Pakistan and Special Envoy to Somalia, agreed to make no further representations in the matter and to waive any fees he might have earned had his effort to have the ban rescinded been successful. The Public Integrity Section of the Justice Department's Criminal Division and the U.S. Attorney's Office in Washington, D.C. said the civil resolution was equivalent to the maximum sentence available under the sentencing guidelines had the case been criminally prosecuted. The State Department's Office of Inspector General participated in the investigation, as well. ##### 94-727