Report says retired judge improperly awarded benefits

A retired Social Security judge in West Virginia collaborated with a lawyer to improperly award disability benefits to hundreds of applicants, according to a report released Monday by congressional investigators.

The report accuses retired administrative law Judge David B. Daugherty of scheming with lawyer Eric C. Conn to approve more than 1,800 cases from 2006 to 2010.

According to the report, the Social Security Administration paid Conn’s firm more than $4.5 million in attorney fees from cases heard by Daugherty from 2006 to 2010. In 2010, Conn was the third highest-paid disability lawyer in the country, the report said.

Lockheed Martin reduces furloughs by 20 percent

Lockheed Martin Corp. Monday reduced furloughs by about 20 percent after the Pentagon said most civilian employees sent home in the partial U.S. government shutdown will be put back to work.

The top federal contractor had planned to furlough 3,000 people. About 2,400 of those employees, most of them tied to nondefense programs, are still unable to work because civilian government sites are closed or the Bethesda, Md.-based company has received an order to stop work from agencies, Lockheed said in a statement.

The Pentagon said on Oct. 5 that 90 percent or more of about 350,000 workers it furloughed last week will be coming back, including inspectors who review contract work. While United Technologies Corp. Sunday canceled plans to furlough as many as 4,000 workers, other top contractors haven’t completely reversed their plans.

“The Department of Defense’s decision will not eliminate the impact of the government shutdown on the company’s employees and the business,” Lockheed said in its statement.

Of the Lockheed employees still being furloughed, only 300 work on military programs.

Greece forecasts its first economic growth since 2007

Greece expects its economy to grow next year – at last.

In its draft budget presented Monday, the government forecast the economy would grow 0.6 percent in 2014, its first annual increase since 2007. This year it is predicted to shrink 4 percent, leaving the economy 25 percent smaller than when it first slid into recession in 2008 during the global financial crisis.

The government even expects some jobs growth and a continued improvement in the state of the country’s public finances.

Former Google CEO plans book of management tips

Now that he is no longer Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt evidently has a lot more time to write books. After releasing a treatise about his vision of the future in an Internet-connected world, Schmidt will share some of his management tips.

– From news service reports