Former FEMA Director Will Plead to Felony for Corruptly Steering Contracts to Gallup, Reports NBC News

Charges Arise from Whistleblower Lawsuit by former Gallup Employee Michael Lindley

The attorney for Timothy Cannon says that the former FEMA executive will plead guilty to a felony conflict of interest charge for steering a FEMA contract and funding to Gallup while he was negotiating a partnership position with the worldwide polling firm, NBC News reported today. The criminal charge arises from a qui tam lawsuit that whistleblower law firms Vogel, Slade & Goldstein and Katz, Marshall & Banks filed against Gallup on behalf of their client, Michael Lindley in 2009. Last fall, the Department of Justice joined in Lindley’s civil lawsuit, which charges Gallup with bilking federal agencies out of millions of dollars in contract funds.

The DOJ filed a criminal information containing the felony charge earlier this week against Cannon in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The nine-page criminal information against Cannon cites several internal Gallup emails in which Gallup executives discussed hiring Cannon if the FEMA director got Gallup a contract. In one internal email, Gallup’s CEO stated “[I]f [CANNON] gets us a big deal at FEMA… I (sic) think we should hire him.” According to the complaint, after Cannon helped secure the multi-million dollar FEMA contract for Gallup, the polling company extended Cannon a partnership offer with a minimum annual salary of $175,000.

Cannon’s corrupt dealings with Gallup also are detailed in whistleblower Michael Lindley’s False Claims Act lawsuit against the polling firm. Lindley’s complaint states that after he complained internally about Gallup’s alleged misconduct, including its conflict of interest violations, and threatened to report the misconduct to the Department of Justice, Gallup fired him.

Legal Pleadings

Criminal Information Charging Timothy W. Cannon with Violating 18 U.S.C. §§ 208(a) & 216(a)(2)
January 2, 2013

First Amended Complaint: United States of America and Michael Lindley v. The Gallup Organization
November 27, 2012

United States Government Complaint in Intervention
November 27, 2012


NBC News: Ex-FEMA official to plead guilty to steering contracts to Gallup during job hunt
January 4, 2013

Washington Post: Gallup accused of bilking government
November 28, 2012

Financial Fraud Law: Gallup Defrauded Federal Agencies
November 29, 2012

NBC News: US sues Gallup, alleging pollster overcharged on government contracts
August 22, 2012