DENVER (AP) – The Defense Department is investigating after a former executive of space contractor United Launch Alliance allegedly said the Pentagon showed favoritism toward his company.

The department’s inspector general announced the investigation Wednesday. United Launch Alliance, based in Denver, is a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Boeing. The company puts military and national security satellites into orbit.

Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain requested the inquiry on March 17, citing comments about Pentagon favoritism attributed to a United Launch Alliance executive.

The company identified the executive as Brett Tobey, a vice president for engineering. CEO Tory Bruno disavowed Tobey’s comments and said Tobey had resigned.

Tobey didn’t immediately respond to a telephone message Wednesday.

United Launch Alliance spokeswoman Jessica Rye said the company would cooperate with the investigation.

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