Calls for Action on Arlington Cemetery Investigation

Lawmakers Waiting for Charges

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    NBCPhiladelphia.com

    Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are questioning why nobody has been charged in connection with a criminal investigation into the mismanagement of Arlington National Cemetery.  A hearing on the matter was held Friday.

    Reports of incorrectly marked grave sites first surfaced in 2009.  After a scathing army audit in 2010, the cemetery's two top officials, Superintendent John Metzler and deputy Thurman Higginbotham, were forced out.

    The new management team is inspecting each of the 260,000 graves to make sure that all the deceased are properly accounted for.

    The Army's inspector general, Lt. Gen. Peter Vangjel, said the Army's Criminal Investigations Division has completed its probe of the Cemetery mismanagement, but a spokesman for CID said Friday evening that the agency's investigation remains "open and ongoing.''

    Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are questioning why no criminal charges have been filed.

    "We are years into this and to my knowledge not a single person has been punished in any way'' for one of the worst scandals in the nearly 150-year history of the cemetery, said Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Tenn., at Friday's hearing.

    Rep. Rob Wittman, R-Va., called the lack of any prosecution thus far "difficult to believe and unacceptable.''

    "All of us feel like a significant amount of time has passed where these investigations should have reached their conclusions,'' he said.