Monday, February 16, 2009

Why did the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Armed Forces Retirement Home (AFRH). Timothy Cox, sell the recently purchased beachfront property with houses on it to the Warrs in 2003? As a former resident of AFRH-Gulfport I know that many of residents thought he sold the property to insure an immediate increase in the Trust fund of AFRH to increase his compensation. We understood but could never verify that his contract with AFRH included an annual bonus for increasing the Trust Fund in each year. Selling the beachfront property and the houses not only increased the Trust Fund by the amount of the sale but  it also relieved him of the cost presently and prospectively of restoring and maintaining the houses.
I suggest Congressman Taylor pursue this line in his investigation of the sale of the property. If Timothy Cox sold the property in question to increase his annual bonus then I believe that it would be a violation of his responsibility to administer AFRH to the long term benefit of its present and future residents. I believe it would justify his immediate removal as COO of AFRH.
William E. McArthur SMSgt USAF Retired
4000 E Fletcher Ave Apt K110
Tampa Fl 33613
PH # 813 977 3706

Thursday, February 12, 2009


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For all residents: You should back an effort to place the Yellow Ribbon that is symbolic of the return of military residents and leadership in a prominent display at the entrance to the AFRH Gulfport, along with a huge portrait of LtCol Wendy VanDyke as a shrine to remind all of her loyal dedication to the resident despite those who who helped railroad her from being Director. She symbolizes the military's role in the leadership of the Home, and without it, the AFRH is doomed to be a clone of the Sunrise model created by Cox. So build the shrine if you want to keep military leadership in your Home of Heroes. Honor the one Hero who has honored each and every one of us with her vision, leadership, and courage. LtCol Wendy VanDyke. Utilize the Resident Fund to do it--it's your fund, it's your home! Remember the ones who fought for you!


Saturday, February 7, 2009

The saga of the AFRH

With the revelation that Brent Warr's purchase of AFRH land is being looked at by Congressman Gene Taylor's office, and that the possibility exists that the AFRH COO sold it at a 'bargain basement' price to the Mayor in 2003 without a public listing for the property, a door opens for a probable Congressional Investigation into all of Cox's land deals as COO of AFRH. Indeed, the COO has expressed to a member of his former staff that Senator Lott 'can make me buy the property, but he can't make me keep it,' regarding the $6.2 million purchase of ten acres for the Home and the parcel sold to Warr. The management of two Homes--in D.C. and in Gulfport--was indeed posing difficulties for Mr. Cox. His selling of the properties (which were bought to augment the Home's facilities for it's residents and visitors) dealt a blow to the AFRH residents, depriving them of the augmentation and more seriously robbing the AFRH fund of the maximum amount of money gained had the sale been a public one. The value of the beachfront properties of almost 4 acres with two mansions on it--with littoral rights--was far and above the actual sale price ($1million). I just don't buy Warr's statement that he was just 'driving by and saw the FOR SALE sign,' because no one I know--including myself--ever saw it or even heard about it's being for sale. It was a secret deal. That Cox had a vested interest in getting rid of the entire AFRH Gulfport land, I believe that was his ultimate goal---especially after Hurricane Katrina. But that remains to be seen, as Cox is as secretive and devious as he is cunning and sly. When all is uncovered, however, I feel that there will be vindication for the way his poor version of 'leadership' will be viewed and recorded. I hope it will be from Federal Prison, since he will most likely end up in the same train wreck as Warr; neither of them were in the caboose or in passenger cars, they were the engineers. Jim Pankey, USN (Ret.)


Thursday, February 5, 2009

A Noose Is Waiting For A Neck, or Necks...

There are times in our lives when we want to believe that the best quality of people in leadership positions are geared toward doing what is best for the people even if it means sacrificing individual gains. That's what the military is all about. Sacrifice. It's too bad that some people in these positions have no idea what military tradition, honor, dignity, and honesty is all about, much less leadership. We have such a man in the position of COO (who has never served in the military); indeed, we have people in positions higher than he along the same chain of command who just have no clue that they have an obligation to their charges. I refer to Charles Abell, once Tim Cox's boss, and his present boss, Leslye Arsht, and higher still to Mr. David Chu, and even higher, to then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Regarding DOD IG H05L95546042 dated 26Sep05 and what happened to LtCol Wendy VanDyke at their hands is shameful enough; that Ms. Arsht would write in answer to my inquiry (through Senator Barbara Boxer, D-CA) as to why Cox was not punished and LtCol VanDyke endured virtual isolation from her charges for over two months, 'she got what she wanted.' No, Ms. Arsht, she did not. She wanted justice. She certainly didn't get it, thanks to your predecessor, Mr. Abell, who was tasked with tking 'appropriate action' against Mr. Cox. A slap on the wrist is not appropriate, I'm sorry. Mr. Cox and Mr. Abell deserve more than that, now. Maybe there is a statute of limitations, but in this case it should be extended; the lasting effects upon the innocent don't have limitations. Mrs. VanDyke will have the memory of torture for the rest of her life, while the perpetrators of the crime have already written it off. Maybe, MS. Arsht, we'll get what we want now: a Congressional Investigation for Mr. Cox and Charles Abell, David S. Chu and Donald Rumsfeld. I'm sure that there is enough evidence to put together a conspiracy charge within the words we can make out in the aforementioned document. If all the wording and pictures are made available through the FOIA (but so far I think it is a joke), it is bound to put names to faces and reveal other participation via phone and emails. So I am asking Mr. Gates to respond to Congressman Gene Taylor's letter (D-MS) and also to take a very close look at H05L95546042 in unredacted form for a good profile of the protagonists and their underhanded tactics in this story. The sordid story of 'bad leadership and failure' at the helm of the Armed Forces Retirement Home. More coming. Jim


Congressman Gene Taylor Wants Details on Warr Purchase of Home Property from AFRH

Congressman Gene Taylor Wants Details on Warr Purchase of Home Property from AFRH by Keith Burton - GCN 2/5/09 Mississippi Congressman Gene Taylor is pursuing answers to how Gulfport Mayor Brent Warr acquired the property for his home on Scenic Drive in Gulfport from the Armed Forces Retirement Home. Warr is facing a January 28, 2009 federal indictment for a Mississippi Development Authority homeowner grant that government investigators say he did not deserve. On February 3, 2009, Taylor sent a letter to Defense Secretary Robert Gates about the home. The property at question is located just east of the AFRH and was purchased by Warr in 2003. According to how the AFRH is structured, excess property owned by the AFRH must have the approval of the Secretary of Defense to be sold. At the time of the sale, the Secretary of Defense was Donald Rumsfeld who served under the administration of George W. Bush from 2001 to 2006. Federal law gives the Secretary of Defense authority to buy property for AFRH’s benefit and to sell property the home does not need as long as the chairmen of the House and Senate Armed Services committees are notified. In his letter to Gates, Taylor says he has questions about the sale of the property to Warr following his recent receipt of two letters dated from 2003 from Principle Deputy Under Secretary of Defense Charles Abell to the chairmen of the Senate and House Armed Services Committees that notified them of the sale of the AFRH property. In Abell's letters, Taylor learned that the federal government bought 10.02 acres next to the Armed Forces Retirement Home for $5.692 million. Abell said the Warrs had offered to buy two beachfront parcels that would result in $1 million being deposited in the AFRH accounts. Warr purchased 3.81 acres that included two large homes located on the beachfront portion of the property, which initially stretched from Scenic Drive to the CSX railroad tracks. This purchase is about $262,467.19 per acre, substantially less than than what the government paid for the property at $568,063.87 per acre, nearly a 54 -percent reduction in price. Taylor writes in in letter to Gates: "Dear Mr Secretary," Taylor writes to Gates, "I write to express my concerns over the acquisition and subsequent sale of real property of the Armed Forces Retirement Home (AFRH) in Gulfport, Mississippi occuring in 2003..." Taylor then outlines his questions. "1. At the time the AFRH purchased the original 10.02 acres, what was the property's total appraised value, including acreage and all structures on the property? 2. What was the size of the smaller parcels sold to the Warrs? What, if any, portions were retained by the AFRH after the sale? 3. What was the appraised value of the property that the AFRH sold to the Warrs? 4. What was the sale price of the AFRH property that the AFRH sold to the Warrs? 5. According to the the 2003 letters, $1 million was to be deposited into the AFRH Trust Fund. "If there was a discrepancy between the sale price and the sum deposited in the AFRH Trust Fund for these properties, what became of the balance? 6. Mr. Abell's letter described the parcels that the AFRH sold to the Warrs as beachfront properties. Where are these properties located in respect to the original purchase? Are these parcels within the boundaries of the 10.02 acres in the original purchase?" In a Sun Herald story, Taylor is quoted as saying why he has sent his letter to Gates: “We ought to know why something was bought and, if something was sold, for how much,” Taylor said Tuesday. “Did it at least turn a profit for the taxpayer? That’s something I want to know off the bat.” Last year, Taylor placed restrictions on the Government's turnover of the former Gulfport Veteran's Administration Hospital property located along on the beach along U.S. 90 some 2.3 miles from the AFRH property. The restrictions were reportedly placed on VA property recently deeded to the city so that it could not be sold in the same way. “It’s very important that when we’re dealing with public resources, everything should be transparent and above board,” Taylor told the Sun Herald. Not commonly known about the VA hospital property is that Brent Warr's father served on a committee prior to Brent Warr's election that oversaw the VA's closure that was underway prior to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. GCN first reported this in a story published in 2006 titled, "The Invisible Government," which also included the information on the AFRH purchase by the Warrs. This story was published well before the Sun Herald and other media acknowledged these issues. Hurricane Katrina only accelerated the closing of the VA hospital. Over the past several years before the hurricane, the Veterans Administration had been closing hospitals and consolidating services under what has been called the Capital Asset Realignment for Enhanced Services, or CARES project. CARES was established as a system-wide process to prepare the Veterans Administration for meeting the current and future health care needs of veterans in modern health care facilities. As part of that plan, each VA property that became included in the program created a Local Advisory Panel, which was ordered to develop a transition plan, hold public meetings, and recommend a process for closure and transferring services. The outcome for the Gulfport VA was to transfer much of its activities to the Biloxi VA and expand its work there with new buildings and assistance from Keesler’s Hospital. At that time the time frame for instituting this change began in 2004 and ended in late 2009, with final activation and demobilization to be complete by mid 2010. But, with hurricane Katrina’s destruction, the time frame was moved forward. (Photo right: Gulfport VA-click on photo to enlarge) Among the local representatives of the Gulfport VA Advisory Panel back in 2004 when the CARES process got underway in Gulfport, were Biloxi Mayor A.J. Holloway and Gulfport businessman Gene Warr, who is the father of Gulfport’s Mayor Brent Warr. It is clear that Gene Warr has had an intimate knowledge of the closure of the VA property well before the public became aware of what was happening to the VA and before his son Brent Warr was elected mayor. Moving to the present time, it is clear that Congressman Taylor is still seeking information on this growing and complex case. So too is GCN. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- More Information: The Warr Home - GCN 1/30/09 Gulfport Mayor Brent Warr has a Homeowner Grant - GCN 1/04/08 New Armed Forces Retirement Complex Towers Above Tree Line - GCN Building Permit Fees of Mayor Brent Warr - GCN 1/26/08 Gulfport Mayor Brent Warr and Wife Indicted by Federal Authorities for Katrina Fraud, Plead Not Guilty - GCN 1/28/09 Federal Warr Indictment - .pdf file GCN Warr Archives


Taylor wants info on AFRH

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GULFPORT — U.S. Rep. Gene Taylor wants to know more about the sale of federal property to Gulfport Mayor Brent Warr and his father, he says in a letter written Tuesday to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.

"I write to express my concerns about the acquisition and subsequent sale of real property of the Armed Forces Retirement Home at Gulfport, Miss., occurring in 2003," Taylor's letter begins.

Brent Warr and his wife, Laura, have been indicted for Katrina fraud because the government contends they lied when they claimed a house on the property was their primary residence when Katrina hit. They received a $150,000 federal homeowners grant and $9,558 in FEMA relief for the damage.


No charges have been filed over the property transactions with the Armed Forces Retirement Home in 2003. Federal law gives the secretary of defense authority to buy property for AFRH's benefit and to sell property the home does not need as long as the chairmen of the House and Senate Armed Services committees are notified.

AFRH bought the property on an unspecified date in 2003, according to the Under Secretary of Defense's Office, but had decided to sell it to the Warrs by August 2003. Another document indicates AFRH bought the property in 2002.

In an August 2003 letter, Principal Deputy Charles S. Abell, in the Under Secretary's Office, said the federal government bought 10.02 acres next to the Armed Forces Retirement Home for $5.692 million. Abell said the Warrs had offered to buy two beachfront parcels.

"The resale of the two smaller beachfront properties will result in $1 million, which will be deposited in the AFRH Trust Fund," Abell wrote in the letter to the chairmen of the House and Senate Armed Services committees.

Taylor, whose office has been looking into the property acquisitions since the Sun Herald published a story about them in October, enclosed the 2003 correspondence with his letter to Gates.

"We ought to know why something was bought and, if something was sold, for how much," Taylor said Tuesday. "Did it at least turn a profit for the taxpayer? That's something I want to know off the bat."

Taylor made sure restrictions were placed on Veterans Affairs property recently deeded to the city so that it could not be sold in the same way.

"It's very important that when we're dealing with public resources, everything should be transparent and aboveboard," he said.

Brent Warr and his father, Gene Warr, could not be reached to comment. Gene Warr and his wife live in the house next to their son's. Both homes are east of the site of the remaining Armed Forces Retirement Home property off U.S. 90. A new retirement home is being built there.

County land records show that Gene Warr's home sits on 1.42 acres, while Brent Warr has 2.39 acres. Realtor Sherry Owen, who handled the property transactions, told the Sun Herald in October that she called Brent Warr about the property because she knew he was looking for land.

Owen's husband, Joe Sam Owen, is Brent Warr's attorney in the Katrina fraud case made public last week.

In his letter, Taylor has asked Gates the appraised value of the 10.02 acres, plus buildings, when AFRH purchased the property; the appraised value and size of the parcels sold to the Warrs; and whether there was any discrepancy between the amount earned from the sale and the amount deposited in the AFRH trust fund.

Taylor wrote, "I would greatly appreciate it if you could furnish answers to the questions posed above and any relevant documents on which they are based, including but not limited to appraisals, deeds, financial transactions, property descriptions, sale papers, etc."

Taylor asked for a response within two weeks.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

AFRH, COX, WARR and the current state of affairs

Sunday, February 1, 2009


February 1, 2009

It seems that as time passes the conditions at AFRH worsen; there is a hostility evident from resident to resident. The Gulfport refugees from Hurricane Katrina are blamed for sucking the life out of the sytem when in fact they have contributed more than their fair share to keep it going. Cox used Gulfport funds to bolster the failing financial situation at Washington DC. Now a bigger problem may have surfaced and brought attention to the property sale by Cox to Gene Warr and his son, then mayoral candidate (now indicted Mayor Warr for fraud, public theft, 16 counts, each of which carries a maximum of ten years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. His wife was co-indictee.) It is almost four years to the day that I left the AFRH Gulfport. I have been fighting Cox and crew ever since, mostly on my own. I am still fighting, mostly alone. Once there is justice for LtCol Wendy VanDyke and others victimized by Cox, I will retire. Please read on. Thank you, Jim Pankey, USN (Ret.)