WASTE WATCH: Veterans Groups Still Upset Over Theft Scandal - Sky Arnold
Updated: Monday, October 14 2013, 06:50 PM CDT
Bill Ward spends every day helping veterans get services like health benefits, disability claims and pension benefits.
"I knew when I retired I was gonna do something where I could continue helping because that's what I do," said Ward.
The State Comptroller says the man who used to hold Ward's position at the Cumberland County Veterans Services Office spent a lot of time helping himself.
In a new report, the Comptroller says former veterans services officer and Marine veteran Mark Daniels funneled more than $134,000 in donations from 2009 to 2012 into his own secret bank account.
Investigator Kevin Huffman says that money was supposed to be used to help veterans.
"We noted 162 checks written to himself, his spouse, and other people to get cash for himself," said Huffman.
Back then, the office depended on donations from the public.
Cumberland County now provides money for Ward's office to operate.
Fox 17 was unable to reach Daniels for comment but we did talk with veterans groups he used to work with including Jack Fogel from the Fleet Reserve Association.
"All that money could've went towards veterans with much more needs than his needs," said Fogel.
Fogel says the allegations were shocking because Daniels did such a good job.
Russell Cope with the VFW Post 5025 agrees and he says one of the worst parts of the scandal is how it's impacting the job of helping veterans.
"It's really put a black eye on veterans organizations in this county and it's really hurt us in our ability to get contributions," said Cope.