Skip to comments.Army Fires Top Two Administrators Over Mismanagement of Arlington Cemetery
Posted on 06/10/2010 8:44:03 AM PDT by Sub-Driver
- June 10, 2010 Army Fires Top Two Administrators Over Mismanagement of Arlington Cemetery
Army Secretary John McHugh has fired the top two officials overseeing Arlington National Cemetery over allegations of mismanagement, including burying a service member's body on top of another, Fox News has confirmed. fox news
Army Secretary John McHugh has fired the top two officials overseeing Arlington National Cemetery over allegations of mismanagement, including burying a service member's body on top of another, Fox News has confirmed.
McHugh will announce Thursday that he is replacing Arlington National's superintendent, John Metzler, and his deputy, Thurman Higgenbotham, who had reportedly illegally hacked into the computer files of a former Arlington employee.
In November, McHugh ordered an investigation into the allegations.
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
Well, things happen, and I am sure that mistakes are made at a much higher rate in civilian cemeteries. One can only imagine the stories that can be told.
Having been to Arlington many times and having attended three burial services there, I must say that I have never seen any place run so efficiently....from the casual observer’s point of view. Approximately 25 or so burials are held each day. They have it down to a science, and, by any measure, it is the best there is in terms of efficiency, respect, and decorum.
They do need to transfer their paper files to electronic now, though. However, I think that can potentially create new kinds of problems with computer file mistakes, etc. Nothing is perfect, but I think Arlington is just about as good as you can get in this world.
Does this mean they might dig up Teddy and send him home to Massachusetts?
That outrageous reference is skimmed over, why is it not a headline? Who buried the second service member? who witnessed? Until I see facts, I'm viewing this with skepticism. Top 2 immediate job openings available here folks.
Weeks ago, Chris Wallace had the administrator of Arlington Cemetery on his show in that end spot where he highlights people doing good things. This man was set to retire at that time. If I recall correctly, he had been in that position for many years and even grew up around Arlington Cemetery as his father was administrator as well. The problems must have started after he retired.
>Who buried the second service member? who witnessed? Until I see facts, I’m viewing this with skepticism.<
Are you too stupid to read the article?
“In 2008, a master sergeant was buried on top of a staff sergeant already in the grave, but the error wasn’t discovered until the widow of the first service member buried there complained to authorities that someone else’s headstone had been placed on her husband’s grave, NBC News reported.”
Sub-Driver... my Dad is buried there and was a Sub Driver.
The Army is trying to clean up a mess that is quite a scandal, going on for some time. Metzler is a genuinely decent and dedicated man, and also the son of a former Arlington super who grew up around the tradition and honor. Bringing him down is part of being “selective” about whom to blame. But then the CO takes the responsiblity. Typical DC corruption. Hate to post Salon, but this is crazy stuff and... very corrupt:
August 14, 2009
Contractor in Arlington fraud scandal arrested
Arlington National Cemetery contractor Bobbie Garrett was arrested on sex charges as he stepped off a plane in Ohio
By Mark Benjamin
Charles County Police Dept., MD
Bobbie Lee Garrett
This article is part of a special Salon series on Arlington National Cemetery. Read about Bobbie Garrett here.
A contractor at the center of a fraud scandal at Arlington National Cemetery has been arrested on multiple charges of child abuse and sex offenses.
U.S. marshals arrested Bobbie Garrett as he walked off a plane in Columbus, Ohio, on July 31, according to the Bay Net, a news source for Calvert, St. Mary’s and Charles County, Md. Garrett, who used to live in Waldorf, Md., was wanted by Charles County police.
The 14 charges reportedly include child abuse, second-degree sex offenses, third-degree sex offenses, fourth-degree sex offenses, unnatural or perverted practices, and second-degree assault. The report says the arrest stems from multiple accusations made in 2007 that Garrett sexually abused minors.
Garrett recently appeared in a series of Salon articles about problems at Arlington National Cemetery. For years, Garrett has been close to the de facto boss of the cemetery, Deputy Superintendent Thurman Higginbotham. In May, an Army investigation of the cemetery found wire fraud there after Higginbotham and Garrett hacked into a former employee’s computer and someone impersonated her online. Garrett worked for a Waldorf, Md., company called Alpha Technology Group when he hacked into the computer, according to investigators. Garrett was working on a nearly decade-long — and mostly fruitless — effort led by Higginbotham to computerize operations at the cemetery to keep track of remains. The delay, workers there claim, means the cemetery still relies on paper to track 30 burials a day, and headstones continue to go in above the wrong remains, among other problems.
When Army investigators sought to interview Garrett, however, Alpha told the investigators that Garrett had resigned and was away visiting his sick mother in Ohio. Investigators were apparently unable to locate him. The final report from investigators on that matter also said Higginbotham made “false statements” in that case.
Early this year, Garrett and another former Alpha employee, Carlton Wells, quietly incorporated a new company in Jacksonville, Fla., called Optimum Technical Solutions. In June, Arlington rehired Garrett and his new company, giving him a six-figure contract good through September to continue the computerization of records.
A former information technology manager at the cemetery balked, however, when Higginbotham ordered that two government computer servers be mailed to Garrett in Florida; the servers contained data on thousands of deceased service members — including Social Security numbers — and information on their next of kin. The IT manager thought the shipment of the sensitive data might violate privacy law. After being forced by Higginbotham to mail those servers to Garrett, the IT manager resigned in protest in July.
Salon first began questioning the Army about Garrett and his Jacksonville company on July 31. He was arrested that same day as his flight from Florida landed in Ohio.
No expense is too high for a Kennedy. Make it so!
There needs to be a full investigation of the “digitization” of records, which WERE mailed to a contractor who is a criminal and a pal of Higginbotham. This stinks to high heaven, especially as regards the protection of private records of next of kin and social security numbers... which can be misdirected to say the least. FBI on this.. finances of all concerned, and examining unexplained increased wealth— just like they did with CIA moles.
They buried that fat bastard POS at Arlington? Printable words fail me...
Thurman Higginbotham was their token affirmative action appointee.
Yes, once again see that diversity trumps merit in the federal work force,
They can’t keep track of the dead...27 burials a week. THAT’S ALL...and they want to TAKE CARE OF YOUR HEALTHCARE. They’ll kill you then lose your body. I don’t know how much of this I can take.