ON A MASSIVE SCALE
Part IV of V-Part Series
As you read this article, keep in mind the United States Congress has given the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) their full approval and has done nothing to hold anyone accountable. No surprise there. The VVA runs pretty much just like the United States Government.
When Mr. McDOLE first took over the reigns as Region 8 Director (herein referred to as “RD8”) of the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), Inc. in August of 2003, overseeing VVA operations in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming, he inherited ongoing problems uncovered in the State of Oregon by then VVA Chapter #392 President John Neuman.
Grissom, the previous regional director (RD), allowed the criminal thugs to continue a criminal enterprise in the State of Oregon. We subsequently found out Grissom he was a toughie, and his criminal activity was previously described and discussed in Part III of this series.
McDole stated the crimes and irregularities consisted of improprieties, improper conduct in violation of National VVA constitutional bylaws by State Council Presidents in Oregon spanning back to 1995. The most recent transgressions involved the removal of one State Council President and a sitting national-level Board of Director member, Steve Mason, now deceased.
Mr. Mason chose to resign his position in lieu of formal disciplinary charges for impropriety and involved in actions which led to the OSC bankruptcy and a loss of more than $40,000.00.
It was also discovered that Mason was also actively involved in setting up secret bank accounts within the state to launder money from the incarcerated chapter in Oregon to private personal accounts as well as funneling money hidden from the State of Oregon to another VVA chapter within the state.
OSC PRESIDENT JUDI GREIG,
A REAL PIECE OF WORK
The funds diversions continued under the next OSC President, Judi Greig. Almost a veritable cash cow, non-profit VVA funds were siphoned into Greig’s personal banking account by means of improper cash advances, depositing VVA funds directly into her personal checking account by using single-signature checks (in violation of dual signature requirements), pre-signed dual signature checks and/or suspected forged signatures on VVA checks.
Various expense reimbursements were submitted without documentary evidence or other corroborating information, all in violation of IRS rules, State non-profit regulations, and VVA organizational requirements. Judi Greig was apparently stealing VVA funds.
In his capacity as RD8, Mr. McDole initiated his own investigation apart from the Neuman investigation (or inquiry) of Greig. At the conclusion of McDole’s investigation, disciplinary charges were filed against Greig. Greig was found guilty of the charges by a Region8 Disciplinary Hearing Committee meeting held in Vancouver, Washington, and her VVA membership was suspended.
In efforts to discredit his discoveries, Neuman himself became the target of ongoing slanderous and libelous attacks within the organization. Mr. McDole was aided with his own law enforcement experience spanning more than 35 years as a gifted police officer, a detective, a special agent (Criminal Investigator) and a Supervisory Special Agent (Supervisory Criminal Investigator) with specialization in conducting fraud investigations for a federal law enforcement agency.
After reviewing Neuman’s evidence, McDole remarked he found it credible, but the deeper he looked, the more serious developments became. These included included illegal contracts the Oregon State Council President(s) had been parties to, fraud, theft of funds and violation of State and Federal laws which resulted in the State of Oregon Department of Corrections conducting its own criminal investigation of the Oregon State Council and its officers. Based on its findings, the Oregon Department of Corrections subsequently evicted VVA Chapter7544 penitentiary systems.
VVA MEMBERSHIP IS OPEN TO ALL
VVA membership is open to all who served during the era of the Vietnam conflict. There is no rule or regulation barring criminals or even those with bad paper – even those with a Dishonable Discharge (DD) from our armed forces – from VVA membership. In fact, McDole was told that at one time the BOD had a member who had received a dishonorable discharge.
Based on the findings of the Oregon Department of Corrections, McDole initiated his own investigation of the VVA OSC, and its former President Judi Greig. This investigation disclosed that Greig as President of VVA Chapter 754, accepted two donated vehicles which were to be sold and the proceeds deposited in VVA Chapter 754 trust funds within the prison system.
This did not happen. Instead, Greig converted one of the donated vehicle to her own personal use and sold the other one and deposited the money into her own personal bank account. It was also disclosed that Greig was also involved in the funneling of money into illegal bank accounts.
The Oregon Department of Corrections does not allow inmates to have any outside bank accounts all money must be deposited into the prison system for credit to Chapter 754 trust account. Greig and at least two of the previous Presidents of the OSC was involved in the laundering of money of Chapter 754 into private bank accounts.
Greig was also involved in the selling of a Music CD that were made by members of Chapter 754 within the walls of the Oregon Prison System. The proceeds of this illegal activity were supposed to be deposited in the 754 trust account. Instead Greig deposited it into her own personal checking account or one of the illegal bank accounts that had been established.
At the conclusion of this investigation McDole filed a second set of formal disciplinary charges against Greig. A VVA Region 8 Hearing Panel conducted a disciplinary hearing in Eugene, OR on March 05, 2005 and she was found guilty of all charges and her membership in the VVA was revoked, she was ordered to reimburse the VVA for the cost of the hearing and to refund all money owed to the OSC.
THE ORGANIZATION SWINGS INTO ACTION
TO PROTECT ITSELF
McDole was also challenged by National VVA for supporting Neuman instead of ignoring the wrongdoing and thugs. The Neuman-McDole efforts led to two additional State Council Presidents and one State Council Treasurer being removed from office. In all, four VVA members had their memberships revoked. The revocations took place after four formal disciplinary hearings where all of the accused members were found guilty of all charges, including allegations the four had supported flagrant discrimination in the organization.
As a result of his and Neuman’s persistent insistence to NOT ignore improprieties, McDole himself came under direct review and questioning by Tom Corey, the former National VVA President, as well as by three sitting National Board of Directors conducting a special investigation into wrongdoings.
McDole was questioned by Corey for appointing Neuman to be the prosecutor to present the cases McDole had initiated against the OSC officers, as well as for previously appointing Neuman to be Chairman of the Region 8 Disciplinary committee. McDOLE had to ask Neuman to resign due to his disfavor by Corey to whom Neuman had caused considerable embarrassment for his (Neuman’s) persistence and correctness.
At the VVA Board of Directors (BOD) meeting on April 22, 2005 in Silver Spring, Maryland, the VVA Ad Hoc committee reported their findings as outlined in their written report. Their assignment had been investigating the incidents and problems within the VVA Oregon State Council (hereinafter referred to as OSC) and to report back to the BOD with their findings and recommendations.
The committee consisted of Fred Elliott, VVA Regional Director, Region 1, Bill Meeks Jr, VVA At-Large Director, and Dave McMichaels, VVA At-Large Director and Chair of the VVA Finance Committee.
Three members of the VVA National Board of Directors were supposedly serving as the Oregon Ad-Hoc Committee investigating the activity that Neuman and McDole had reported. McDole was told by the committee members that “for his own good”, he should distance himself from Neuman.
ILLEGAL MONEY TRANSFER
The committee’s opinion was that Neuman was guilty of illegally transferring monies. That view, however, was based solely on slanderous accusations made against Neuman for his having defended himself by taking and winning a legal action in a court of law against the VVA.
To his credit, McDole told all three members to bring him substantive and credible evidence of their allegations against Neuman. Should that take place, McDole assured them, he would in fact file formal charges against Neuman.
In an attempt to discredit McDole about Neuman, the BOD (based on the findings and recommendation of the Ad-Hoc Committee) passed a motion empowering McDole to obtain the minutes of VVA Chapter 392, where Neuman was President at that time.
McDole obtained the records. The records revealed no evidence of wrongdoing by Chapter 392. In addition, no other evidence was ever produced which even remotely implicated Neuman in any wrongdoing. McDole continued to support Neuman and his cause to see to it all VVA members are treated fairly and equally by the organization.
That remains a problem, however, so long as you have a gang of 24 sitting and passing judgement on others for lesser offenses they themselves have committed and to which they turned a collective blind eye.
McDole found no evidence to discredit Neuman and continued supporting him. Immediately prior to the 2005 elections, McDole himself became a target of slander and libel within VVA. He was removed from office in an invalid election that National refused to investigate or take any action on. Their actions resulted in McDole taking legal action of his own.
Perhaps some three or four months before the start of the VVA Convention, McDole received an anonymous call from a former Montana State Council (hereinafter referred to as MSC) Secretary who related that Mike Hampson, the MSC President would not allow the MSC duly elected Treasurer to have control of the checkbook or even be on the signature card at the bank.
SUBMITTING A FALSE FINANCIAL STATEMENT
The party further related that the only authorized signatures on the bank account were Hampson, his friend Mike Secreast, and Vickie Hampson, Mike Hampson’s spouse, and not even a VVA member. McDole immediately initiated an inquiry into the matter.
He not only determined the information was true, but also discovered that Mike Hampson and Mike Secreast had submitted a false yearly financial statement to VVA to remove their suspension so Mike Hampson (as MSC President) could be seated at the National Convention.
Hampson signed the document in his capacity as MSC President and had his cohort Secreast counter-sign as MSC Treasurer, interestingly, a position he at no time ever held, officially or unofficially. McDole continued his investigation and obtained all necessary evidence to substantiate the allegation(s) to file charges against Hampson and Secreast.
In an email, Hampson commiserated about possibly having to withdraw his name as a candidate for Region 8 Director since McDole, at that time the current Region 8 Director, was investigating him. In fact, McDole was unaware that the official slate of candidates running for vacant offices had not been issued, and also was unaware Hampson was interested in the Region 8 Director positions.
After learning that, Mc Dole decided to cease his inquiry and preparation of the disciplinary charging documents against Hampson, to avoid any issue of conflict of interest by investigating his opponent.
All that information and evidence were then forwarded to then VVA National President Thomas Corey. For his part, Corey sat on the allegation(s) until one or two weeks before the election. At that point, Corey assigned the matter to then National Treasurer Alan Cook with instructions to review the allegations and file charges.
Regrettably, there was insufficient time for everything to be accomplished as outlined in the Disciplinary Code before the start of the convention. At the National Convention, McDole lost reelection by one vote, the losing vote being the one which Hampson cast for himself as the MSC President who should not have been seated. In the final analysis, Hampson won by means of duplicity, skullduggery and trickery.
THE AIM OF THE “TASK FORCE” WAS TO VALIDATE
Prior to retaining an attorney McDole filed a formal complaint and an Election Protest contesting the outcome of the RD8 election. The VVA BOD appointed yet another useless task force to investigate the complaint. The election complaint was forwarded by VVA to the Election Committee, who denied the charge. Ultimately the Task Force filed their investigative report, which as well claimed that VVA acted properly.
As clearly mentioned on pg. 3, only documents forwarded to them by the National Office were ever looked back, no interviews of any of the complainants (Pace, Neuman and McDole) have been ever contacted nor was any evidence requested from them. McDole claims that none of the parties, including himself were ever informed of the Task Force’s existence.
McDole claims that the sole aim of the Task Force was to validate Nationals actions. The assertion by the Task Force lead by attorneys of “ is it truly a violation of the disciplinary code to be less than truthful when trying to collect votes in an election”, is appalling.
To then state “ If we were to condemn political candidates for lying during campaign speeches, we suspect that VVA would have few elected officials at any level”, only supports notions preconceived to justify taking no action and confirms the removal of McDole from office in an illegal election.
Prior to filing a civil lawsuit against the VVA, then VVA General Counsel Mike Gaffney (Rest In Peace) and McDole’s attorney negotiated an out-of-court settlement, the details of which cannot be disclosed. However, it appears VVA violated the terms of the agreement a few months later by arbitrary and capricious removing McDole from its rolls as an Accredited Veterans Service Officer without justification and without written notice.
McDole learned that his accreditation had been revoked only when he went to represent a veteran at the Boise VA Regional Office. When he confronted the VVA Veterans Service Officer Program Director, McDole was told his accreditation had been revoked because they could not verify his address.
He wondered out loud how he could continue receiving a solicitation for funds from VVA and the Veteran magazine at his mailing address, a P.O. Box, the same mailing address at which McDole receives all of his VVA-related correspondence.
THE VVA GOES AFTER MCDOLE
All of this leads McDole to believe he was retaliated against by VVA and its leaders for exercising his rights to file legal action against them as well as for his whistle-blower activities by reporting the thuggish activity within the organization.
As we close Part IV of this series, we just developed information relating to sexual harassment occurring in VVA. Given that, it comes out the continuing VVA shenanigans may require a continuation of this series. Thus, in at least Part V, it will be shown that VVA has been sued in court for sexual harassment in the past and failed to get action on similar allegations made by Jim Pace against a VVA officer.
Additionally, information will be provided that at least one discrimination case has been filed against VVA. Ultimately, it will be disclosed that other wrongdoing continues in VVA and that its so-called leaders at the national level of the organization has taken to sweep up a see-no-evil, speak-no-evil, hear-no-evil approach as its problem resolution methodology.
The VVA in McDole’s opinion is a shockingly deceitful, unethical and unscrupulous organization, that should either close its doors, and turns off the lights, and shut down operations, or it should operate in a manner where its actions are both legal and beneficial to its membership.
This concludes Part IV. In Part V our discussion will focus on other skulduggery in other VVA chapters and state councils. We will conclude Part V with a summation of events and issue a recommendation.