Department of State

Ex-State Department Official Charged with Taking Bribe

Accused of taking $30,000 to assist with contracting over Afghan prison renovations

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A former U.S. State Department official and travel author was arrested by the FBI and accused of taking a $30,000 bribe linked to the renovation of a prison in Afghanistan, according to papers unsealed in federal court in Delaware.

Kenneth Michael Brophy, who supervised Afghan contractors in renovation of the Pol-i-Charki Prison in Kabul, was charged with receipt of an illegal gratuity by a public official and willful receipt by an executive branch employee of a payment for assisting the contractor, Katherine Arden, a Federal Bureau of Investigation special agent, said in court papers.

"There is probable cause to believe that Brophy accepted an illegal $30,000 payment" from the unidentified Afghan firm in exchange for "lobbying" the Army Corps of Engineers on behalf of a company contract appeal, Arden wrote.