Possibly More Grave Errors at Arlington - NBC4 Washington

Possibly More Grave Errors at Arlington

Two Former Heads of Cemetery Prep for Federal Hearing



    Possibly More Grave Errors at Arlington
    NBC News

    New developments are surfacing in the scandal involving mismanaged graves at Arlington National Cemetery

    Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) says the number of gravesite errors could be much higher than initially reported.

    Earlier this year, an internal army investigation found at least 211 discrepancies between burial maps and gravesites at the cemetery.

    The number, however, could be much higher. The Washington Post says it found problems with more than 130 graves, between one of the cemetary's most high-profile sections and one of its least-known. The Post reports:

    "...[A]n examination of thousands of pages of internal records and interviews with dozens of current and former Army employees reveal that the Army has launched multiple investigations into Arlington over the years. Not only did they turn up chronic problems with record-keeping, but they also revealed a dysfunctional management structure that operated with limited and fractured oversight and a contracting system that appeared to operate outside the normal structure for the federal government. Again and again, attempts to correct the situation fell short."

    Now, the eyes and ears of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs subcommittee will hear from those at the heart of Arlington's latest problems.

    A spokeswoman for Sen. McCaskill confirmed that a subpoena was issued to the officials stonewalled after the discovery.

    Former Cemetery Superintendent John Metzler and his deputy Thurman Higginbotham will testify before the subcommittee on contracting oversight. McCaskill will chair the hearing.

    It will be the first public appearance for both Metzler and Higginbotham since the fallout, but it's likely it won't be the last.

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