West Point Graduates Indicted on Bribery Charges

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On July 13, 2016 The United States Department of Justice issued a press release regarding a bribery indictment. A federal grand jury indicted John Kays, age 42, of Bel Air, Maryland, and Matthew Barrow, age 42, of Toledo, Ohio, on conspiracy and bribery charges related to contracting at the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command headquartered at Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG), in Harford County, Maryland.

Allegedly Mr. Kays, who was a government official involved with giving out military contracts, accepted close to $157,000 in gifts from Mr. Barrow. The case has been covered by various news outlets like the Baltimore Sun. What is interesting about this case is what has not been covered – the fact that these two men were classmates at both the United States Military Academy Prep School and the United States Military Academy at West Point, graduating from the latter in 1997.  Here are  the photos of both men from the 1997 Cadet Howitzer (West Point’s Yearbook) : 

Yearbook photos of Matthew S. Barrow and John M. Kays  from The United States Military Academy, also known as West Point, Army.

The question I have is why would the Government keep this information from the public? Isn’t the fact that these two men have known each other for well over twenty years, material to the story? Is the Government purposely trying to protect the reputation of West Point?

It turns out that John Kays’ father, James L. Kays, is a retired General. Brigadier General James L. Kays ran the Systems Engineering Department at West Point for many years. General Kays is highly decorated receiving the Army Distinguished Service Medal and the Legion of Merit.

I wonder if any influence was exerted to keep this information out of the official Government press release? As a high ranking government employee, I find it highly unlikely that John Kay’s official biography would not have included his educational background or that a thorough investigation would not have uncovered his long relationship with Matthew Barrow.

West Point is an amazing institution and a national treasure, but like any institution you will have bad apples like these two. The United States Military Academy’s stated mission is to create leaders of character to serve the common defense. Every cadet at West Point goes there on full scholarship paid by us – the taxpayers. If anything West Point should be held to a higher standard when it comes to media scrutiny. The Long Grey Line of West Point has produced an amazing list of accomplished Alumni, whose achievements have been rightly celebrated. However, in the rare occasion a West Point graduate does not measure up, we should know that too.


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