Supervisor Ordered Truckloads Of Trash Buried In Veterans Cemetery, Report Says
The Southern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery is the final resting place of 8,400 U.S. servicemen and women, and nearly 1,900 of their spouses. It's also the temporary resting spot of discarded refrigerators, televisions, lawn mower blades, shingles, clothing, furniture, and cans of aerosols, pesticides and paint thinner.
A maintenance supervisor at the award-winning cemetery allegedly ordered workers to bury all kinds of junk from his rental properties on the 105-acre site, according to documents The Associated Press obtained through an open records request.
A whistleblower alerted the Department of Natural Resources in a letter to Warden Mike Hirschboeck. "I am outraged that such a sacred place such as the final resting place for the men and women who served our great country are allowed to be disgraced in such a manor (sic)," the whistleblower wrote.
Investigations began late last year. The DNR is determining whether some of the garbage qualifies as toxic, which will help decide whether civil or criminal charges might be brought against the supervisor, who resigned in November.
So far, exhuming the trash has cost $37,000, more than double the $18,000 that the Department of Veterans Affairs estimated.
There's an emotional cost too.
"Just totally repulsive to me and any veteran," Brad Cramlet, a local U.S. Navy veteran told the AP. "That is hallowed ground. Our veterans are buried there. To have that happen is just totally unconscionable. That's abuse of position. That's abuse of government. Abuse of power."
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