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FEMA Katrina Funeral Contractor Desecrated Corpses
Scoop ^ | September 15, 2005 | Jason Leopold

Posted on 09/28/2005 3:39:32 PM PDT by Ol' Dan Tucker

FEMA Katrina Funeral Contractor Desecrated Corpses

Division of Funeral Corp. Charged With Desecrating Corpses Hired to Collect Deceased Victims of Hurricane Katrina

By Jason Leopold

A funeral services company which recently learned that one of its subsidiaries is negotiating a lucrative contract with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to remove dead bodies in areas ravaged by Hurricane Katrina, paid $100 million to settle a class-action lawsuit several years ago alleging the company desecrated thousands of corpses, and dumped bodies into mass graves.

Moreover, the company paid $200,000 to settle a whistleblower lawsuit that sought to expose that two members of the Texas funeral commission, the agency which regulates the funeral industry, were actually employees of the company they were supposed to monitor--an obvious conflict-of-interest.

In the civil matter, which took place at two Jewish cemeteries in Florida, the plaintiff's attorney said that SCI secretly broke into and opened burial vaults and dumped remains in a wooded area where the remains may have been consumed by wild animals.

Additionally, SCI buried "remains in locations other than those purchased by plaintiffs; crushing burial vaults in order to make room for other vaults; burying remains on top of the other rather than side-by-side; secretly digging up and removing remains; secretly burying remains head-to-foot rather than side-by-side; secretly mixing body parts and remains from different individuals; secretly allowing plots owned by one part to be occupied by a different person; secretly selling plots in rows where there were more graves assigned than the rows could accommodate; secretly allowed graves to encroach on other plots; secretly sold plots so narrow that the plots could not accommodate standard burial vaults; secretly participated in the desecration of gravesites and markers and failed to exercise reasonable care in handling the plaintiff's loved ones remains."

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Kenyon International. a unit of SCI, is presently in charge of the delicate task of collecting the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of dead bodies in the aftermath of the hurricane.

Details about SCI's mass graves and mutilated corpses emerged publicly five years ago. According to the lawsuit, a former employee of Menorah Gardens & Funeral Chapels in West Palm Beach, which is owned by SCI, showed investigators human remains discarded in a wooded area near the cemetery.

Attorneys representing the families of the deceased who were buried at Menorah Gardens said they obtained a so-called "burial book" included gruesome details about SCI's burial practices.

"No room for spouse," "move Mrs. Kolin" and "dig this grave double deep," said one excerpt from the book. A handwritten note obtained along with the book said, "Where are Lippitis and who are Haskells and are they both deceased? Move Haskell marker."

The fact that a subsidiary of SCI is in talks with the federal government, largely due to its close ties to the White House, to remove bodies in New Orleans is ghastly.

The whistleblower suit dates back to 1999 and alleges that while he was governor of Texas, George W. Bush's office interfered with an aggressive state investigation into the embalming practices by Service Corporation International, a Houston-based funeral conglomerate headed by Robert Waltrip --a close friend of the Bush family who also contributed heavily to then Gov. Bush's gubernatorial campaigns, and donated $100,000 to former President George Bush's presidential library.

An attorney for Eliza May, a former whistleblower who served as executive director of the Texas Funeral Services Commission, the state agency that regulates the funeral business, claimed that she was fired from her state job because she raised questions about SCI's embalming practices and sought to expose the company's misdeeds. She filed a whistleblower suit in 1999 alleging "she was the victim of "political" retaliation because she was threatening the interests of a well-connected political patron of the governor," Newsweek reported in an April 21, 2001, story.

May claimed that current White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales was also complicit in the matter and even helped SCI in a cover-up. Gonzales, who was also Bush's gubernatorial counsel, reportedly received a memo on April 22, 1996, suggesting possible improprieties by two funeral commissioners with ties to SCI.

"Bush and his top aides have heatedly denied the charges and suggested the entire matter was drummed up by Democratic lawyers with political motives, Newsweek reported.

The memo, written by Marc Allen Connelly, who was general counsel to the funeral services commission at the time, and sent to Dick McNeil, the Bush-appointed chairman of the funeral commission, stated that Connelly "received information" from Texas state officials that two of the funeral commissioners charged with regulating the state funeral business actually worked for SCI-the largest funeral firm in the state. Although one of the commissioners was openly an SCI officer (the one appointed by Bush), Connelly stated that state banking records he inspected showed that another of the commissioners," Newsweek reported.

The revelation represented a "a possible statutory conflict." Texas law prohibited any two commissioners from having ties "directly or indirectly "to the same funeral company.

In the memo, Connelly told McNeil that he should "immediately inform the Governor of this apparent conflict and also recommend that the Governor take action to remove both (the two SCI-related commissioners) from the commission because both individuals knew or should have known of this conflict yet failed to notify the governor's office."

McNeil stated in a deposition that after he received the Connelly memo, he faxed it to Polly Sowell, who then served as Bush's appointments secretary. "When she was questioned, Sowell was asked what she did with the memo. "I sent it to the General Counsel's Office," she said. But Sowell said she did not remember what happened after that and, in his interview with NEWSWEEK, Gonzales said such a memo was merely one of many that might have crossed his desk and was otherwise not memorable. In any case, Bush never acted on the memo's recommendations that the SCI affiliated commissioners be removed."

*************

* 2005 Jason Leopold

Jason Leopold is the author of the explosive memoir, News Junkie, to be released in the spring of 2006 by Process/Feral House Books. Visit Leopold's website at www.jasonleopold.com for updates.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Louisiana; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: albertogonzales; bush; bushbotrage; connelly; contractor; corruption; fema; funeral; gonzales; greed; gummintgiveaways; incompetence; katrina; katrinafailures; kenyon; louisiana; mcneil; otherpeoplesmoney; outofcontrolspending; robertwaltrip; sci; spendingspree; taxandspendrinos; texas; waltrip

1 posted on 09/28/2005 3:39:37 PM PDT by Ol' Dan Tucker
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To: Ol' Dan Tucker

Of course this is all Bush's fault.


2 posted on 09/28/2005 3:45:03 PM PDT by Integrityrocks
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To: Ol' Dan Tucker

So, why exactly did you post this crap?


3 posted on 09/28/2005 3:48:07 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: Integrityrocks

Just as a fact check, WHERE was there as disaster where THOUSANDS os people died?

" ...paid $100 million to settle a class-action lawsuit several years ago alleging the company desecrated thousands of corpses, and dumped bodies into mass graves."

OK, my BS meter is pegged ...


4 posted on 09/28/2005 3:49:05 PM PDT by Blueflag (Res ipsa loquitor)
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To: Ol' Dan Tucker
The fact that a subsidiary of SCI is in talks with the federal government, largely due to its close ties to the White House, to remove bodies in New Orleans is ghastly.

This is old news.

Kenyon International contracted with the State of Louisiana to do corpse removal, not with FEMA.

5 posted on 09/28/2005 3:52:13 PM PDT by sinkspur (Breed every trace of the American Staffordshire Terrier out of existence!)
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To: Ol' Dan Tucker
State contracts with Kenyon International.
6 posted on 09/28/2005 3:53:37 PM PDT by sinkspur (Breed every trace of the American Staffordshire Terrier out of existence!)
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To: Ol' Dan Tucker

Great stuff Dan. Except, Blanko signed this contract not FEMA. Oh well...


7 posted on 09/28/2005 3:56:08 PM PDT by KingKongCobra
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To: Blueflag
OK, my BS meter is pegged ...

$100 million settlement OK'd in Menorah grave desecrations

8 posted on 09/28/2005 4:02:32 PM PDT by Alouette (Militant Neocon Pundit)
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To: Ol' Dan Tucker

what's the point? Are they accused now?


9 posted on 09/28/2005 4:02:48 PM PDT by Perdogg
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To: Ol' Dan Tucker
secretly digging; secretly burying ; secretly mixing body parts ; secretly allowing ; secretly selling ; secretly allowed graves secretly sold plots ; secretly participated holy makrel kingfisher - dats a lot o secrets
10 posted on 09/28/2005 4:15:38 PM PDT by SF Republican
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To: KingKongCobra

She was PO'd that FEMA didn't sign the contract if I remember correctly.


11 posted on 09/28/2005 4:16:28 PM PDT by satchmodog9 (Murder and weather are our only news)
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To: Ol' Dan Tucker
Coast Guard Vice Adm. Thad Allen, who took charge of the hurricane rescue efforts last week, said Tuesday that federal agencies involved had been meeting their mission to recover the remains quickly "and to treat them with the dignity and respect they deserve." But Blanco said FEMA has slowed down the process by failing to sign a contract with the company hired to handle the removal of the bodies, Houston-based Kenyon International Emergency Services. Kenyon is working without a contract but threatened to pull its workers out of Louisiana unless either the state or the federal government offered it a signed agreement, Blanco said. Calls to Kenyon were not immediately returned.

Ultimately the state of LA signed a contract with Kenyon. Who the H wrote that article??? Going to have to email them as it was obviously intended to be a hit piece 'Dan Rather' style.
12 posted on 09/28/2005 4:18:06 PM PDT by blogblogginaway
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To: sinkspur

guess that blows a hole in the theroy that it is bushes fault.


13 posted on 09/28/2005 4:18:51 PM PDT by Americanwolf ("You are stuck on Stupid" --- Army Lt. Gen. Russell Honore)
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To: blogblogginaway

Pardon me. Forgot link


http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2005/09/13/national/a133219D59.DTL


14 posted on 09/28/2005 4:20:53 PM PDT by blogblogginaway
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To: satchmodog9

"She was PO'd that FEMA didn't sign the contract if I remember correctly."

You do!
FEMA was checking out the company and Blanko said "We need it now" so she signed the deal.


15 posted on 09/28/2005 4:21:29 PM PDT by KingKongCobra
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To: Ol' Dan Tucker

Stuff like this is why I'm donating my body to science. People learn from what's left of me, and I get a free cremation instead of paying thousands for rip-off artists to fill me full of goo and bury me and a $9000 casket in the dirt.


16 posted on 09/28/2005 4:22:24 PM PDT by Zeroisanumber
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To: sinkspur
Kenyon International contracted with the State of Louisiana to do corpse removal, not with FEMA.

Louisiana to hire private company to remove dead bodies: governor:

She said she had pleaded with Michael Chertoff and other federal officials to issue a contract to a Houston, Texas-based disaster management company, Kenyon International, which is currently working without a contract after being brought in by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA.

Chertoff assured her a week ago that federal officials had a system of recovery in place, but Kenyon said Monday it would pull out if the contract issue was not resolved, she said.

Blanco said Louisiana would hire the company itself.

"In death as in life, our people have deserved better than t

hey have received," she said. "I cannot bear to wait any longer."

Kenyon spokesman Bill Berry said the company had rejected a contract offer from FEMA because of concerns over the safety of its employees and other reasons he would not specify. He said however the controversy would not interrupt the process of recovering bodies, which began a week ago.

"We would never consider stopping," he said. "We told FEMA that even though we would not be pursuing a contract to do the full recover we would do a seamless transition with whomever they awarded the contract to."

17 posted on 09/28/2005 4:28:18 PM PDT by Ol' Dan Tucker (Karen Ryan reporting...)
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To: KingKongCobra
You do!
FEMA was checking out the company and Blanko said "We need it now" so she signed the deal.

What's to check out? FEMA's had a contract with Kenyon since 1997 and Kenyon has performed in several disaster recovery efforts with the federal government. (Recent Incident Operations, About Kenyon)

18 posted on 09/28/2005 4:41:15 PM PDT by Ol' Dan Tucker (Karen Ryan reporting...)
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To: Perdogg
what's the point? Are they accused now?

Cronyism.

19 posted on 09/28/2005 4:43:13 PM PDT by Ol' Dan Tucker (Karen Ryan reporting...)
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To: Ol' Dan Tucker

These are very grave allegations. I hope the allegators can back this up.


20 posted on 09/28/2005 4:49:59 PM PDT by umgud (Comment removed by poster before moderator could get to it)
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To: Integrityrocks
Of course this is all Bush's fault.


21 posted on 09/28/2005 4:54:35 PM PDT by Capn TrVth
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To: Ol' Dan Tucker
Cronyism.

Oh. Cronyism because Blanco hired them?

Sorry, Dan. You can't hang this around Bush's neck.

22 posted on 09/28/2005 5:05:56 PM PDT by sinkspur (Breed every trace of the American Staffordshire Terrier out of existence!)
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To: Ol' Dan Tucker
"Scoop is a “fiercely independent” press release driven Internet news agency "

http://www.scoop.co.nz/about/

23 posted on 09/28/2005 5:26:02 PM PDT by PAR35
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To: sinkspur
Oh. Cronyism because Blanco hired them?

First things first.

Who brought Kenyon in, Blanco or FEMA?

24 posted on 09/29/2005 9:27:40 AM PDT by Ol' Dan Tucker (Karen Ryan reporting...)
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To: Ol' Dan Tucker
Who brought Kenyon in, Blanco or FEMA?

Find any other company that does what Kenyon does. It was the first company called in to do corpse retrieval after the Indian Ocean tsunami.

You guys are so funny. I suspect if you researched Clinton's FEMA, you would find that Kenyon might have been involved at Oklahoma City, just as Clinton used Halliburton for reconstruction.

You need to face facts. There are companies that excel at what they do. Accusing the government of "cronyism" because they are used is ignorant.

25 posted on 09/29/2005 10:44:33 AM PDT by sinkspur (Breed every trace of the American Staffordshire Terrier out of existence!)
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To: sinkspur
You need to face facts. There are companies that excel at what they do. Accusing the government of "cronyism" because they are used is ignorant.

Who brought Kenyon in, Blanco or FEMA?

26 posted on 09/29/2005 11:02:20 AM PDT by Ol' Dan Tucker (Karen Ryan reporting...)
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To: sinkspur
You guys are so funny. I suspect if you researched Clinton's FEMA, you would find that Kenyon might have been involved at Oklahoma City, just as Clinton used Halliburton for reconstruction.

Let's look instead at Bush's FEMA.

Who was Bush's first FEMA director?

27 posted on 09/29/2005 11:05:25 AM PDT by Ol' Dan Tucker (Karen Ryan reporting...)
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To: Ol' Dan Tucker
Nah. You refuse to look at context. Your mind is made up that somehow Bush is rewarding his buddies here, even though Louisiana is paying Kenyon, and even though Kenyon has been involved in every major disaster recovery in the world in the last ten years.

See ya.

28 posted on 09/29/2005 11:13:16 AM PDT by sinkspur (Breed every trace of the American Staffordshire Terrier out of existence!)
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To: Ol' Dan Tucker

"You need to face facts. There are companies that excel at what they do. Accusing the government of "cronyism" because they are used is ignorant."


That's not important to the libs. All they care about is that the contract was openly bid, regardless of whatever emergency is occurring.


29 posted on 09/29/2005 11:14:23 AM PDT by Wristpin ( Varitek says to A-Rod: "We don't throw at .260 hitters.....")
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To: sinkspur
Nah. You refuse to look at context. Your mind is made up that somehow Bush is rewarding his buddies here, even though Louisiana is paying Kenyon, and even though Kenyon has been involved in every major disaster recovery in the world in the last ten years.

In your first reply to me on this thread, you said that Blanco contracted for Kenyon to perform the recovery. While Louisiana was the one who ulimately signed the contract, it was only because FEMA was refusing to sign a contract with Kenyon. But it was FEMA who called in Kenyon. As you know, Kenyon is a wholly-owned subsidiary of SCI.

And who runs SCI? Robert Waltrip, long-time Bush family friend, whose PAC donated $45,000 to GW Bush's 1994 gubernatorial campaign and $100,000 to GHW Bush's presidential library.

This in spite of the fact that the feds have used Kenyon for every major recovery effort dating back to the Oklahoma City bombing. And yet, FEMA was dragging it's feet signing a contract with Kenyon.

Some on this thread have speculated that it's because the feds were checking Kenyon out. This could not have been the reason as the feds were intimately familiar with Kenyon. As you wrote, the feds have been working with Kenyon for many years, yet no contract. Strange, no?

Bush's first FEMA director was Joe Allbaugh. Allbaugh had previously worked for Bush as his his chief of staff while he was governor. Allbaugh left FEMA to become a lobbyist representing, among other clients, Halliburton. (See: Former FEMA head and Halliburton lobbyist visits Louisiana for deals)

But Allbaugh contends he wasn't down in Louisiana seeking contracts. He was in Louisiana to 'coordinate private sector support'. 'But that's not the same thing as asking for government contracts for clients', he says.

Ri-ight... And the meaning of the word, 'is', is?

30 posted on 09/29/2005 12:08:54 PM PDT by Ol' Dan Tucker (Karen Ryan reporting...)
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To: Ol' Dan Tucker
I see. So, it would be just dandy with you if FEMA (who did not sign the contract) or the State of Louisiana just let the bodies rot in the sun while bids were put out to avoid anybody who has any relationship whatsoever with the Bush administration getting a single source contract.

OK. If that's what you want.

31 posted on 09/29/2005 12:15:53 PM PDT by sinkspur (Breed every trace of the American Staffordshire Terrier out of existence!)
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To: Ol' Dan Tucker
In your perfect little world, the only companies that would be authorized to sign Federal government contracts would be....?
32 posted on 09/29/2005 12:19:40 PM PDT by been_lurking
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To: sinkspur
I see. So, it would be just dandy with you if FEMA (who did not sign the contract) or the State of Louisiana just let the bodies rot in the sun while bids were put out to avoid anybody who has any relationship whatsoever with the Bush administration getting a single source contract.

On the other hand, the NFDA would've done for free what Bush-cronies are doing for the money. (See: FEMA mortuary move irritates volunteer)

33 posted on 09/29/2005 12:48:24 PM PDT by Ol' Dan Tucker (Karen Ryan reporting...)
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To: been_lurking
In your perfect little world, the only companies that would be authorized to sign Federal government contracts would be....?

Honest and not run by cronies of policitians or bureaucrats.

What is your criteria for companies contracting with the federal government?

34 posted on 09/29/2005 12:50:42 PM PDT by Ol' Dan Tucker (Karen Ryan reporting...)
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To: Ol' Dan Tucker
On the other hand, the NFDA would've done for free what Bush-cronies are doing for the money.

Are you kidding? I'm rolling on the floor, laughing out loud!

I worked in the funeral industry. You actually think your local overweight undertaker, who is accustomed to dealing with intact bodies, with an occasional gunshot wound, or drowning, thrown in, is capable of rolling into New Orleans and dealing with that dangerous environment?

Kenyon International exists for a reason. They know what they're doing since they've handled mass casualties many, many times. LeRoy from Heavenly Angels Funeral Chapel wouldn't have the first clue about dealing with unrecognizable cadavers, unbelieveable stench, and maggots crawling out of every orifice, day in and day out.

Your hometown mortician is good at what he does, and Kenyon is good at what it does. And they're worth every penny of what each makes.

35 posted on 09/29/2005 12:58:25 PM PDT by sinkspur (Breed every trace of the American Staffordshire Terrier out of existence!)
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To: sinkspur
Your hometown mortician is good at what he does, and Kenyon is good at what it does. And they're worth every penny of what each makes.

If Kenyon is so good, why was FEMA dragging it's feet to sign a contract?

36 posted on 09/29/2005 1:07:34 PM PDT by Ol' Dan Tucker (Karen Ryan reporting...)
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To: Ol' Dan Tucker
Who knows? The Kenyon guy on the ground said FEMA could not guarantee his people "safety."

But, that's now moot, as Louisiana has signed the contract (for which they will be reimbursed by FEMA anyway).

37 posted on 09/29/2005 1:23:13 PM PDT by sinkspur (Breed every trace of the American Staffordshire Terrier out of existence!)
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To: sinkspur
I worked in the funeral industry. You actually think your local overweight undertaker, who is accustomed to dealing with intact bodies, with an occasional gunshot wound, or drowning, thrown in, is capable of rolling into New Orleans and dealing with that dangerous environment?

Maybe, maybe not. From the article I linked:

"Kenyon asked us to share the names and phone numbers of NFDA members and funeral directors who are interested in a paid three-week employment situation," the NFDA told its members. "If you have already volunteered with NFDA, we'd like to let you know about this paid option to help."

So, even though LeRoy hasn't a clue, Kenyon still wanted to pay them to do exactly what you said they were incapable of doing. Strange, no?

38 posted on 09/29/2005 1:47:35 PM PDT by Ol' Dan Tucker (Karen Ryan reporting...)
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To: sinkspur
But, that's now moot, as Louisiana has signed the contract (for which they will be reimbursed by FEMA anyway).

You don't know why they were brought in without a contract, but you know it's not cronyism.

39 posted on 09/29/2005 1:49:49 PM PDT by Ol' Dan Tucker (Karen Ryan reporting...)
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To: Ol' Dan Tucker
So, even though LeRoy hasn't a clue, Kenyon still wanted to pay them to do exactly what you said they were incapable of doing. Strange, no?

Depends on what the local guys would be doing.

In any case, Kenyon's strength is logistics: organizing the effort and coordinating identification. IOW, overall management of the recovery.

40 posted on 09/29/2005 1:52:12 PM PDT by sinkspur (Breed every trace of the American Staffordshire Terrier out of existence!)
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To: Ol' Dan Tucker
You don't know why they were brought in without a contract, but you know it's not cronyism.

Since you say it IS cronyism, I challenge you to find another company that does what Kenyon does, with its bona fides.

41 posted on 09/29/2005 1:53:37 PM PDT by sinkspur (Breed every trace of the American Staffordshire Terrier out of existence!)
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To: Ol' Dan Tucker

After the medias lies about rapes and murders in the Superdome, I'm suspicous of everything they write.


42 posted on 09/29/2005 1:55:13 PM PDT by NeoCaveman (Go Mike Pence, Operation Offset, and the Cleveland Indians)
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To: Ol' Dan Tucker
If Kenyon is so good, why was FEMA dragging it's feet to sign a contract?

Let's see.

FEMA blamed for not doing enough, not getting to LA fast enough (even though they were on site before the Hurricane arrived).

FEMA head MIKE BROWN removed and replaced by President Bush.

Geee...... I can't think of any reason there would be delays.

43 posted on 09/29/2005 2:08:21 PM PDT by UCANSEE2 (I jez calls it az I see it.)
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To: sinkspur
Depends on what the local guys would be doing.

Except that Kenyon would've been charging the government (read: you and me) for the work the local guys were willing to do for free.

In any case, Kenyon's strength is logistics: organizing the effort and coordinating identification. IOW, overall management of the recovery.

Which makes it all the stranger why FEMA didn't simply sign the contract with them, doesn't it?

44 posted on 09/29/2005 3:34:56 PM PDT by Ol' Dan Tucker (Karen Ryan reporting...)
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To: sinkspur
Since you say it IS cronyism, I challenge you to find another company that does what Kenyon does, with its bona fides.

The NFDA guys were willing to do for free what Kenyon wanted to pay them to do. Except that they wouldn't be able to back-charge the feds if the NFDA worked for free.

The fact that they have all of these so-called 'bona fides' makes it even stranger that FEMA brought them on-scene without a contract.

Since you say it ISN'T cronyism, I challenge you to find another company (besides Halliburton) that the feds bring in for a project of this magnitude without first signing a contract.

45 posted on 09/29/2005 3:53:48 PM PDT by Ol' Dan Tucker (Karen Ryan reporting...)
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To: dubyaismypresident
After the medias lies about rapes and murders in the Superdome, I'm suspicous of everything they write.

Me, too. But that doesn't mean I automatically give the Bush Administration a pass. They've done their share of lying, too.

46 posted on 09/29/2005 3:54:55 PM PDT by Ol' Dan Tucker (Karen Ryan reporting...)
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To: UCANSEE2
FEMA head MIKE BROWN removed and replaced by President Bush.

The official line is that Brown resigned. Don't you remember, Bush is loyal to those around him?

47 posted on 09/29/2005 3:58:27 PM PDT by Ol' Dan Tucker (Karen Ryan reporting...)
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To: Ol' Dan Tucker
The NFDA guys were willing to do for free what Kenyon wanted to pay them to do.

Yep. And FEMA would have gotten exactly what they paid for: shoddy, disorganized, crappy service.

Since you say it ISN'T cronyism, I challenge you to find another company (besides Halliburton) that the feds bring in for a project of this magnitude without first signing a contract.

Since Kenyon had ALWAYS done this kind of work for FEMA in the past, there was no reason to assume they would not be brought in this time.

Now, for the second time, I challenge you to name another company that specializes in doing what Kenyon does. And a gaggle of small-time morticians does not count as a "company."

48 posted on 09/29/2005 6:43:49 PM PDT by sinkspur (Breed every trace of the American Staffordshire Terrier out of existence!)
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To: sinkspur
Yep. And FEMA would have gotten exactly what they paid for: shoddy, disorganized, crappy service.

It's possible I didn't express myself clearly enough.

Kenyon sent a call out to NFDA looking for those NFDA members who would be willing to work the Katrina recovery for 3 weeks for pay. These would be the very same NFDA members that were volunteering to do this work for free.

But, instead of getting this help at no cost to the federal government, Kenyon would now be able to bill the federal government for the cost of bringing in these people.

Since Kenyon probably isn't in the charity business, we can only surmise that they would've padded the bill to cover 'administrative costs'.

So, instead of getting shoddy, disorganized, crappy service for free, the taxpayers are now getting shoddy, disorganized, crappy service at a substantial cost, not to mention a tidy profit for Bush's crony, Robert Waltrip.

Since Kenyon had ALWAYS done this kind of work for FEMA in the past, there was no reason to assume they would not be brought in this time.

But, according to your first post, FEMA didn't hire Kenyon, remember? According to your first post, Louisiana signed the contract with Kenyon.

As we know, this is pure fantasy. FEMA brought Kenyon into Louisiana as I originally wrote, but it did so without a contract. As you also have written, FEMA will still be paying Kenyon's bills, but instead of writing the checks directly to Kenyon, they'll be going through Louisiana, who's acting as the middleman in the deal.

Now, for the second time, I challenge you to name another company that specializes in doing what Kenyon does. And a gaggle of small-time morticians does not count as a "company.

How about DMORT? They have 1,200 trained and capable volunteers. They have mobile morgue operations, can do forensic examinations, DNA acquisition, remains identification, search and recovery, scene documentation, etc.

Let's refer once again to the article to which I linked:

SCI, of Houston, Texas, provides funeral, cremation and cemetery services in North America and Reuters reported Kenyon International Emergency Services spokesman Jay Kirsch said it was sending 50 workers to the area struck by Katrina to help recover the bodies of those killed by the hurricane.

So, Kenyon was going to send 50 people to work the area struck by Katrina. Sounds like a pretty minimal effort to me. I think DMORT could've done this much, don't you?

Reading further:

Kenyon spokesman Bill Berry said he didn't have a cost figure for work in Louisiana, but added that Kenyon has had a FEMA contract since 1997, was activated after 9-11, is working in Louisiana only so far, and isn't recovering bodies.

"We're receiving," Berry said. "We take them to a DMort ... with refrigerated facilities and then go through the morgue process."

Hmmm... Kenyon isn't recovering the bodies. And they aren't providing mortuary services, either. DMORT is.

Would these be the very same workers who you say provide shoddy, disorganized, crappy service. I believe so.

Perhaps you can explain exactly what valuable services Kenyon is providing in Louisiana that no other company in the world can provide.

Sounds like cronyism to me.

49 posted on 09/29/2005 10:04:43 PM PDT by Ol' Dan Tucker (Karen Ryan reporting...)
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