Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Leader of Military’s Program to Treat Brain Injuries Steps Down Abruptly

by T. Christian Miller, ProPublica, and Daniel Zwerdling, NPR

WASHINGTON, D.C.–The leader of the Pentagon’s premiere program for treatment and research into brain injury and post traumatic stress disorders has unexpectedly stepped down from her post, according to senior medical and congressional officials.

Brig. Gen. Loree Sutton told staff members at the Defense Centers of Excellence [1], or DCOE, on Monday that she was giving up her position as director. Sutton, who launched the center in November 2007, had been expected to retire next year, officials with knowledge of the situation said. The center has not publicly announced her leaving.

Sutton’s departure follows criticism in Congress [3] over the performace of the center and in recent reports [4] by NPR and ProPublica that the military is failing to diagnose and treat soldiers suffering from so-called mild traumatic brain injuries, also called concussions.

It comes just as the Pentagon prepares to open a new, multimillion-dollar showcase treatment facility outside Washington, D.C., for troops with brain injuries [5] and post traumatic stress disorder, often referred to as the signature wounds of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Late Wednesday, in a sign of disarray within the program, Sutton cancelled a scheduled appearance at the opening of the National Intrepid Center of Excellence [6], a gleaming new facility of waving glass and futuristic virtual reality treatment rooms in Bethesda.  Read the Entire Story here

June 25, 2010 Posted by | Pentagon, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fort Hood Army Captain pleads guilty to bribery charges

By Louis Ojeda Jr.  News Channel 25 WACO

WACO – A Fort Hood U.S. Army captain pleaded guilty on Thursday to charges he accepted bribes from a contractor while in Iraq.

Capt. Faustino L. Gonzales, 38, allegedly conspired with Chasib Mahdi Contracting Company to receive bribes for awarding contracts near a base in Rustimiyah, Iraq between 2005 and 2006.

An investigation revealed Capt. Gonzalez made cash payments to Mahdi for contracts he was awarded under the commander’s emergency relief program for Iraq reconstruction.

In exchange for awarding the contracts, Mahdi reportedly paid bribes in the form of cash.

A portion of the bribe money was allegedly deposited in bank accounts located in Waco and San Antonio. Some of the money was sent to Gonzalez brother who was told it was a military bonus.

Gonzalez is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 15. He could receive up to two years in federal prison, up to a $250,000 fine and an unspecified amount in restitution.

June 25, 2010 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Corruption | , , , , | Leave a comment