South Asian Insider
Sexual favors, gym bags stuffed with cash, drunken romps
A senior Army official was caught on tape kissing and fondling a female contractor who was competing for a $4 billion federal advertising bid that he was supervising, according to videos obtained by DailyMail.com.
The footage comes on the heels of an internal audit that found the Army has wasted nearly $1 billion on ineffective marketing campaigns since 2013.
Army insiders claim the video is evidence of an improper relationship between the Army and McCann Worldgroup, the branch's top marketing contractor.
Records obtained by DailyMail.com also show that multiple complaints have been filed against Army marketing leadership by employees who say they were threatened or harassed after they raised concerns about waste and abuse in the McCann contract.
The video shows married Army official James Ortiz, 62, embracing woozily and kissing McCann Worldgroup executive Molly Berkeley, 48, on a dance floor at the Birchmere, a bar in Alexandria, Virginia, on October 4, 2017. The two were then filmed leaving the bar together with their arms around each other.
Ortiz was director of marketing at the Army since 2013, where he oversaw the agency's marketing plan and supervised the program managers who signed off on McCann's invoices. Berkeley, who helped lead McCann's Army account, left her job at McCann abruptly in November, shortly after the video was taken.
In an internal email, the company said Berkeley 'made the difficult decision to leave the team to pursue other opportunities.' Ortiz and McCann declined to comment. McCann did not return DailyMail.com's request for comment. A spokesperson for the Army told DailyMail.com that Ortiz's relationship with Berkeley is currently under investigation. She said Ortiz has been reassigned and now serves as an advisor to the marketing department.
'When Army Marketing and Research Group (AMRG) leadership became aware of allegations of possible inappropriate conduct between a member of the AMRG staff and a defense contractor in December 2017, the employee was removed from the Director of Marketing position, all duties associated with our advertising contract and contractor, and reassigned within the organization,' said Army spokesperson Alison Bettencourt. Sources familiar with the Army marketing department provided calendar entries to DailyMail.com indicating that Ortiz continues to meet regularly with Army marketing leadership. He organized a meeting on February 20 with top officials to discuss the department's marketing strategy and operations for the upcoming fiscal year. McCann, which has handled the Army's marketing strategy for the past decade and is behind the 'Army Strong' campaign, is currently competing for an extension of its contract worth an estimated $4 billion. The company's current contract with the Army is set to expire in September. Contractors often work closely with government officials. However, federal rules prohibit relationships that can give the appearance of a conflict of interest.
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