On December 30, 2008 I was called to the office of the Director of the Veterans Transitional Facility (afterwards referred to as the Facility) and was told that my services as Assistant Manager were no longer needed. I was also informed that I would be asked to leave the Facility on January 30, 2009 by Mr. Paul Whitmore, the Director. The reason given for my dismissal was allegedly “Lack of Initiative.” The reality is that if anything I have too much initiative. I think my job performance since taking the job in late August 2008 could be described as “110% of requirements.” I'm quite certain there are other reasons why I was dismissed and asked to leave by Mr. Whitmore which have absolutely nothing to do with my job performance. I will address this issue in detail and expose the real reason for my dismissal.
My termination came as a surprise even though I had heard rumors to this effect several days before the event. I cannot began to tell you the negative effect this had on my morale, since Mr. Whitmore and I had a verbal agreement of a one year stay made on August 30, 2008 when he asked me to become the Assistant Manager of the Facility. I would note he had not once given me a counseling session, or anything in writing that would have allowed me to correct matters he felt were a problem area. In fact, Mr. Whitmore talked very little to me on any matter except to issue angry orders to do something or other IMMEDIATELY as if this were BCT (Basic Combat Training) and he was my Drill Sergeant.
The wrong person was terminated from employment at the Facility that day. I think a much stronger candidate would be Mr. Whitmore who over the last four months of his term of office has established a track record for a management style best described as a dictatorship with himself in the role of tyrant. In the following pages the reader will be presented with the facts to back up my thesis that Mr. Whitmore is a troubled individual with mental health issues and personality disorders which make him unfit to remain in the office of Director of this Facility. I will relate my complaint in a series of “Incidents” with the most serious infraction related first:
I. THE PAUL WHITMORE INCIDENT
This happened on December 16, 2008 at the Facility. Mr. Whitmore had arranged for all the apartments to be repainted; however, in his mind he thought it could be accomplished in only two days.
On Monday, December 15, 2008, my apartment was the first to be painted. The painters started at 0800 hours and by 1300 were finished and started on the next apartment and just finished it at the end of the day. I could see at the rate of two apartments a day it would take approximately six days to paint the twelve apartment complex, so I saw no reason to make the people in the east building (The complex has six apartments in two building opposite one another across a narrow courtyard: an east building and a west building) move their furniture into the center part of the room, since it would be days before the painters could paint those apartments. I should note that I stayed with the painters and clients the entire day and moved furniture as required. I would also note that the painting went as quick as it could given the lack of energy on the part of the painters who took frequent breaks and a long lunch hour.
The next day, Tuesday, December 16, 2008, Mr. Whitmore came to work and discovered that only two apartments out of twelve had been painted. I was called into his office and royally chewed out. I attempted to explain what had happened, but he wouldn't listen. Then he said, “Did you have the furniture in all the apartments moved to the center as I ordered last week?” Before I could respond he said, “Barbour, follow me with the pass keys.” I did so and followed the extremely angry man across the courtyard to the east building (where the clients had been told to wait until Wednesday before moving furniture by Mike McCreary, the Complex Manager) to apartment #10. The only reason I could fathom for Mr. Whitmore to go to that particular unit was because it was the only one with a door not open and clients busy doing one thing or another to get ready for the painters. Mr. Whitmore pounded violently on the door, but no one answered. He turned to me and shouted his face red with rage "OPEN THE DOOR WITH YOUR PASS KEY!”When I couldn't get the lock to open, I said, “Maybe I have the wrong key?” Mr. Whitmore pulled the keys out of my hand and in fury got the resisting lock to open and marched into the apartment, which had all the furniture still in place. Almost howling in disgust he stormed into the bedroom and grabbed a sleeping form, Mr. Jay Richardson, and woke him up. I tensed up expecting a fight because people rudely awakened from a deep sleep frequently attack the person trying to wake them up. This happened to me once in the Army when I was on CQ and attempted to wake up a guy early in the morning for KP. However, Mr. Richardson stayed cool and advised Mr. Whitmore that the Manager had told him to move the furniture on Wednesday. Of course, I could have told Mr. Whitmore that earlier, if he had listened.
I should note this event, which is clearly a Whitmore Incident, was in his mind a case of “lack of initiative” on my watch and grounds for dismissal. Mr. Richardson is still a client here and can give verification of Mr. Whitmore’s rage verbally or in writing. I think other clients were witnesses too, but I don't have their names. I talked later to Mr. Richardson and told him Mr. Whitmore actions that day were totally unprofessional and unacceptable. Mr. Richardson said that Mr. Whitmore had given him an apology. I would note it was a private apology and not a public one. My standard is that if I unjustly go off on someone in private – my apology is made in private – vice versa for a public display of anger. Mr. Whitmore lack of a public apology tells me he's not really sorry for his public display of anger; that he wants it well known he's “not to be messed with.”
II. THE RECOVERY GROUP INCIDENT
The first time I was exposed to Mr. Whitmore’s dictator personality was approximately two weeks after he hired me as the assistant manager. I am not a supporter of Alcoholics Anonymous and I know many of the clients here aren’t as well. However, like me, they honor the contract signed when they were admitted to the Facility – This is attendance at Tuesday night AA oriented recovery group and an AA meeting at a local church on Thursday. The most common complaint is that AA is a religious cult and most what goes on at AA meetings is to advance the agenda of an AA Cult. My response was to ask to host a Rational Recovery (RR) Meeting on Wednesday night. I have read much of their literature that contradicts AA on about every point and thus offer an avenue to recovery closed by those who aren’t cult minded.
I knew before the meeting that what I had to say was controversial, I knew that Mr. Whitmore allegedly had a drinking problem at one period in his life, but I was not prepared for the extreme anger displayed by him simply because I was asking to conduct as an unpaid volunteer a class on recovery that may encourage many rational thinkers to reject the “mysticism of recovery.” I think any rational Director would have pleased one of his client had taken the initiative to offer his ideas concerning recovery, I know Mr. Merkle, the Director before Mr.Whitmore, enjoyed talking to me on this subject, although he politely refused to allow classes conducted here.
This meeting was typical of most I had with Mr. Whitmore. He would allow me to say a few words to enable him to learn the topic and then the storm would start and he simply wouldn’t allow me to talk. I remember an old movie, I think it was called, “The Bunker” and was about the last ten days of Hitler’s life. When any of Hitler’s officers would tell him bad news, or anything he didn’t want to hear he would launch into a rage and not listen to them any longer. I’m not saying Mr. Whitmore chews the carpet every time he talks to someone, he can be very charming at times, but I’m saying every time something is said that goes against his core beliefs or plans; you’ll likely see acting out of a Hitler rage. This is, of course, only true if the individual is ranked below Mr. Whitmore; those who are equal will still get the charm; the rage he feels goes to the next subordinate in the office.
III. THE GLEN CHAMPION INCIDENT
In late August when I was hired as assistant manager by Mr. Whitmore he asked me to find a replacement for Mrs. Merkle who had quit her job as the Facility cook. I fortunately did know of a cook at The Daily Bread who was looking for a better job by the name of Glenn Champion The next day I made contact with him and suggested he interview for the position. He did so and was immediately hired by Mr. Whitmore. The meals he cooked for the next several months were an improvement over the former cook's excellence. The clients were also impressed by the fact he frequently polled them on what meals they would like him to cook. Mr. Champion has an outgoing personality and made friends easily. In summary, Mr. Champion appeared too good to be true.
He was as it turns out.
In late November, 2008 I was informed by a reliable source that Mr. Champion was a criminal under indictment for fraud, forgery, Grand Theft and exploiting the elderly. When I expressed doubt about this alleged indictment my source handed me court papers from the Circuit Court which I have included as an enclosure.
My source when on to say that Mr. Champion was a cocaine addict and was selling drugs to unidentified individuals at the Facility and was using his staff bathroom off the storeroom as an illegal drug storage area.
I was shocked to hear of these charges about a co-worker who seemed to enjoy his job and cooked very nice meals. However, when I looked closely at Mr. Champion’s job performance I immediately spotted a very troubling pattern that included boxes of food and clothing being taken out the back door and loaded on private vehicles, the staff bathroom always locked with Mr. Champion having the only key, and Mr. Champion using the Day Room – which is closed at 2200 hours -- as a private bedroom.
Thus with the information obtained the next step would have been to talk to Mr. Whitmore. This I didn’t do because by then I was well aware of his nasty temper and I felt he would disregard anything I told him. Instead I went to Craig Russell – my supervisor at the Daily Bread Warehouse where I work – who, as it turns out, had a wealth of information about Mr. Champion who was a volunteer weekend cook at the Daily Bread Kitchen. Mr. Russell then contacted his supervisor the Executive Director of the Daily Bread, John Farrell, and we three had a conference the next day and compared notes on Mr. Champion. The decision was quickly made to exclude Mr. Champion from all property belonging to the Daily Bread as he had been noticed selling drugs on their property. Mr. Farrell asked me to ask Mr. Whitmore to contact him concerning Mr. Champion and arrange a meeting.
My next step was to brief Mike McCreary, the Manager of the Facility. As I have said before, I didn’t want to talk to Mr. Whitmore because of his bad temper. Mr. McCreary expressed shock and outrage when he heard the results of my investigation of Mr. Champion and said “he had a bad feeling about the guy from Day One.” He said he would pass on the information to Mr. Whitmore without naming me as his source as I had requested.
Several days passed without action, so on December 1, 2008 I sent an Email to Mr. Whitmore, as Mr. Champion appeared unaware and untroubled by anything. It was at this point I finally did go to Mr. Whitmore who, true to form, let me speak about one paragraph before saying my allegations were based on rumor and he refused to listen to me. I thought, “Well I did my best; what will be will be.” Mr. Champion was finally fired by Mr. Whitmore in early December, 2008. The story I heard was that Mr. Champion tested positive for cocaine, but in truth I really don’t know. Mr. Whitmore’s Byzantine decision making process rivals that of the U.S. Senate.
I think this incident alone speaks volumes about the poor quality of Mr. Whitmore’s abilities as Director of this Facility. Surely the first thing to check is a new employee’s criminal record. Mr. Whitmore has a computer in his office and brags about his high level of Internet excellence. If this is true the why not go to the State of Florida Corrections website were mountains of information are available for free? Also, I’m wondering if he bothered to check Mr. Champion’s references, job history, educational accomplishments and other matters connected with employment. It would appear from future developments that Mr. Whitmore did none of these things.
IV. THE JOSEPH ROBINSON INCIDENT
To: Mr. Whitmore
Fm: Ron Barbour
Re. Incident Report On Joseph Robinson
December 20, 2008 at approximately 0800, I was involved in a incident with Mr. Robinson. The incident started when I asked Mr. Robinson why he was behind the counter in the Day Room when he wasn’t on duty. He responded that he was putting away the breakfast items. I informed him that putting away the breakfast items was part of my duties for the day, and I also told him that only the person on duty and staff were allowed access to the kitchen unless some type of activity was going on that required additional help.
At this point Mr. Robinson became very upset and said something like, “Well you weren’t doing your job so I stepped in and did it.” He said some other things like, “I’m going to call Mr. Whitmore about you, etc.”I informed him that if he couldn’t control his temper he should leave the Day Room. Mr. Robinson then became silent and moved over in front on the television almost in tears and a person present put his arm around in shoulder as if to say, "It's okay." I departed the Day Room at that point, since things had clearly calmed down.
During the course of moving the property from the Old Storage Area to the new one, I noticed that Mr. Robinson had appointed himself the team leader. I will acknowledge he had an unusual high level of energy and worked well, but his constant giving of orders was most distracting to me, the supervisor of this move. I thought of calling him to the side for a conference, but having seen his emotional state earlier, I decided to hang back and work along with everyone else – My observation in life is that a work team doesn’t need two supervisors. The upside to Mr. Robinson’s high energy level was that the job was completed in what I judged record time.
There was one other behavior that day by Mr. Robinson that I found to be out of the ordinary. I was leading the van that he was driving (This was done because I had the keys and combos to the gates and facilities) and on the second run back to the Old Storage Area, Mr. Robinson took a left before the traffic light on US1 at Sarno Road. This attempt at a shortcut came to nothing because the street ended at the Eau Gallie River and Mr. Robinson had to double back. The only reason I can think for a potentially risky maneuver like this (the traffic is heavy in that area of Sarno Road that only a short block from US1) is because he felt the need to get ahead of me.
In my opinion, based on my experience as drug counselor and driver at Central Care Mission in Orlando, Florida (2003-2007) Mr. Robinson is showing signs of either drug abuse or someone in denial concerning his abuse of drugs; the dry drunk. My terminology is, “The Perfect World Delusion”. This is the common world view held by many addicts and those in recovery that if they can “Be in change” of people, places and things everything will be okay. Thus such persons look with a critical eye at the actions of others and find fault. They frequently jump into situations to take command, because they feel; “Only I know best.” In a recovery program such individuals attempt to “subvert” the chain of command in order to obtain more power “to make things happen.” Mr. Robinson’s first comment to me was, “I used to be assistant manager here and I lived in your room.” I suppose this was his way of saying, “I can do your job and replace you.” Then his next remark was to ask, “How is Mike doing? You know I know Mike from way back.” The third remark you have no doubt guessed, “What do you think of this new guy, Mr. Whitmore?
Other entries into “The Perfect World Delusion” of Mr. Robinson would include his behavior during the painting of the apartments last week which bugged the heck out of the poor guy because things did not go perfectly as planned. (I like the old Army axiom, “The Plan goes out the window when the first shot is fired) I cannot did not keep count of how many times Mr. Robinson knocked on my door about something or other that was not of his concern. I finally asked him, “Why is this bothering you so much?” Alas! He was too busy running off on another self imposed mission to answer.
Finally I think Mr. Robinson is spending too much time around the Facility. I was under the impression that clients without physical problems should be out looking for work. In addition, it is my opinion that Mr. Robinson could learn some valuable information for the Tuesday night Recovery Class and mandatory AA attendance while here. If he is an addict he will be encouraged to stop; if he is on a dry drunk he’ll learn how to cope with that problem. I would encourage you to have a special counseling session with Mr. Robinson on this issue, as he may well be totally in the dark about a personality disorder that has caused him unnecessary pain and suffering in life. The proof is that he’s ended up here. The guy appears to be quite intelligent and has an excellent work ethic and appears to be a devout Christian – all that is needed is an “Attitude Adjustment” – and who better to give an attitude adjustment to a “troop” than a CSM?
V. THE CHARLIE COX INCIDENT
October 31, 2008
To: Mr. Whitmore
Fm: Ron Barbour
I've received a complaint about Charles Cox from Thomas McDonnell. At issue is the "knife incident" in which it was alleged by someone, perhaps Cox, that McDonnell allegedly said he had purchased a knife and threatened harm against someone. At any rate, McDonnell once again stated he had no idea how such a rumor got started but he seems to think that either Voss or Cox was the source.
As you may be aware, I was the roommate of McDonnell in #10 for a couple of weeks and I formed the opinion that the guy was harmless and was serious about Recovery. I understand that McDonnell attended successfully the substance abuse program in Tampa. While here at the Facility, I've noticed that McDonnell does what is expected of him and minds his own business.
Therefore, it was a shock to me when you told me about the "knife incident."
But I digress, to return to the subject of Charles Cox -- The day that we searched McDonnell's apartment Cox stopped me while I was walking to my apartment saying, "Hey Ron! You remember the dispute you got into with McDonnell on the van? He said he was going to cut your throat! Don;t you remember that?" Yes, McDonnell and I did have an argument on the van on the way to the Thursday night AA meeting over a month ago. This much is true. However, at no point in this heated exchange did McDonnell make threats.
The dispute was over McDonnell's unhappiness with being made to go to AA. This was his first day at the Facility. Lonnie who was driving the van and in charge that night returned to the Facility where Mr. Merckle talked to McDonnell. After about five minutes the issue was resolved and McDonnell never again objected to attendance at AA. In fact, he told me last night when he got his car he would attend many more meetings on his own!
In conclusion my opinion of Cox is not high. He seems to do nothing all day except to smoke and drink coffee and bad mouth all those not present to include staff. I've told you about him going delusional and emotional during a Sunday meal because he didn't think enough drinks were available? On that occasion he was extremely insubordinate.
Yes, I'm aware that Cox can be calm and rational most of the time, but I get the impression he's pumping people for information about other people he can use in his production of rumors. I think with his statement to me over McDonnell and perhaps his creation of an entire fictional incident, Cox has moved into a high level contention that could result in legal action directed against him in civil court.
Sincerely, Ron Barbour
Date: November 1, 2008
NAME: CHARLIE COX
Nature of the Incident: Verbal Abuse, Insubordination, Use Of Profanity.
At approximately 1815 hours, Charles Cox became enraged and abusive in the Day Room Chow Line because, he said, "The food was cold." I think his reference was to the main course that wasn't cold but had became warm due to the lack of hot lights found in cafeterias which keeps the food as hot as it comes out of the oven.
When I attempted to explain this matter to him, Mr. Cox started yelling the a very loud voice, "I'm not going to take anything from you! I had to take crap from Mrs. Merckle and I'm sure as hell not going to take it from you."..and you're a chicken shit motherfucker and lazy as the day is long"....I'm going to write your ass up on an incident report"...."I'm going to call Mr. Whitmore"...etc.
My response was to ask Mr. Cox to leave the Day Room unless he could control his temper as he was disrupting the meal with his irrational polemic. At that point, Mr. Cox did leave after taking all blank copies of the Incident Report with him. Then I called you to give you an outline of what happened.
After I finished talking to you, Mr. Cox returned saying, "You don't have the authority to tell me to do anything" and attempted again to engage me in an argument. I told him to see you as soon as possible and write an incident report if he wanted. At 1830 I shut down the Chow Line and put the food away. I should note that food was available to Mr. Cox but he made absolutely no effort to eat. Mike McCreary was present during part Mr. Cox's outburst, but said nothing even after I asked him to say something to calm Mr. Cox down. I did inform him that you wanted him to write an Incident Report on the affair. He said he would. Others present include Danny & Marissa Brannon. I should note that they are friends of Mr. Cox, especially Danny, who told me that Mr. Cox's anger was, "no big deal." Daniel Carlow, Arthur Dury and Thomas McDonnell may have overheard Mr. Cox's tirade, I'm not sure. People were going in and out with food while Mr. Cox was shouting.
My deportment during Mr. Cox's outburst was firm, but I did not use foul language and I called him, "sir." I should note that he somehow found this threatening. This I do not understand unless he was projecting his own anger on me. In fact, if I didn't have considerable experience working with people in rehab, I would have felt a physical threat due to the fact that Mr. Cox is rather large and was yelling a couple of inches from my face.
In summary: This is second time Mr. Cox has went off on me. The first time was "The Chicken Incident" about a month ago which at the time didn't involve chicken at all, but was over the drinks that Mr. Cox said weren't full (They were three quarters full). It would appears to me that Mr. Cox has developed an intense personal dislike for me (The former dislike for Mrs. Merckle transplanted) and takes his spite out on me on Saturdays when he knows I'm usually the only staff member around.
I'm not a medical professional, but based on my experience working at Rehab, Mr. Cox seems to be displaying, among other things, a burning need to control people by the use of anger, so that his victims will give into him if he becomes angry. In international relations this is called, "appeasement." Appeasement never works. Hence, I will present a firm but fair attitude towards Mr. Cox and never again ignore one his outbursts, because he will view this as weakness and make further demands that will never please him. I won't play his game.
Persons Notified: Mr. Paul Whitmore
Sincerely, Ronald Barbour
November 2, 2008
To: Mr. Whitmore
Fm: Ron Barbour
Summary of problems encountered in dealing with Mr. Charles Cox.
1. Insubordination -- Mr. Cox seems to resent authority. I've noticed around you he is very diplomatic, but this could be an attempt to sway your decisions in his favor. As I've noted earlier on the weekends I see a different Mr. Cox who often is irrational and angry. This anger, I believe, is an attempt by him to let him have his way, lest I make him angry.
2. Lying - I've told you already of his apparent attempt to get Thomas McDonnell removed from the Facility by way of planting the story that he purchased a weapon at a Knife Show. Also, Mr. Cox attempted to enlist me in his conspiracy by floating the idea of words of threat never spoken by Mr. McDonnell. I should note that Danny Brannon was present when this conversation took place.
3. Rumor Control - Mr. Cox seems to have appointed himself President of Rumor Control here at the Facility. He seems to do nothing except to sit all day long and drink coffee and smoke and listen to conversations, which he often spins to his own version of the truth. This legend is then told over and over to persons not a witness to the fact who often add and subtract to the original inaccurate version of the truth. The final production then makes its way to you and is full of sound and fury about something that in reality never happened the way it was presented.
4. Lack of attendance at AA and the Tuesday Recovery Group - Mr. Cox, who brags about a life of drug addiction and says he's in total agreement with the twelve step program of AA is seldom to be seen at the recovery meetings on Tuesday and Thursday. He often cites, "not feeling well" as a reason for non-attendance, but is usually seen just after the meetings break up in good spirits and health talking to persons who have just been released from those meetings. Mr. Cox may talk the talk about AA and Recovery; however, his actions and words indicate a 180 degree back azimuth from AA Ideals. In AA terms, he is on one heck of a bad "dry drunk."
5. Mental/Personality Disorder Problems - I'm no psychologist but in my humble opinion Mr. Cox suffers from numerous personalty disorders and perhaps from brain damage caused by excessive use of drugs. Then there is the possibility that Mr. Cox is a psychopath and suffers no mental defects, as he has exhibited psychopathic traits on more than one occasion.
For example, the way he uses anger to control people. This is a common trait among psychopaths. Former President Clinton is the classic example of a psychopath who can be very charming and very angry in order to get people to do what he wants done. If this theory of mine has merit, then it would explain Mr. Cox's lying as well, since the psychopath has no conscience. I noticed when a counselor at Central Care Mission that about one in ten of our clients were raving psychopaths and more than once I was subjected to the same "anger treatment" as Mr. Cox has given me on two occasions.
RECOMMENDATION: I strongly recommend that Mr. Cox be removed from this Facility as we lack the resources and manpower to address his many issues that have only grown worse in the seven months he has lived here. I think Mr. Cox's problem could be better addressed by medical/mental/psychological professionals at the VA hospital in Tampa that has excellent resources. Until resolution of this matter, I request you tell Mr. Cox in forceful terms to contact you with any question he has about my job performance instead of throwing a fit in public every Saturday meal.
I am very serious about my employment here and feel very honored that you have given me this position as Assistant Manager. When Mr. Cox throws one of his very public hissy fits against me he also disrespects you, the person who has appointed me to office. I'm not perfect, but my mistakes are made for reasons other than by design. I submit this "Cox Problem" to you for resolution.
Sincerely Yours, Ron Barbour
Please note that Mr. Whitmore did not remove Charles Cox from the Facility for another thirty days. It is fortunate that Mr. Cox did not assault clients or staff in the period when he was clearly out of control. This is yet another example of Mr. Whitmore's terrible judgement on potential threats.
VI. THE DANNY BRANNON INCIDENT
January 7, 2009
To: Mr. Whitmore
Fm: Ron Barbour
Re. Incident Report.
At approximately 0600, I was alerted by a loud banging at the door.
It was Danny Brannon who ranted and raved something about "Cheerios all over the bleeping floor" that allegedly happened when I got my breakfast this morning. This did not happen, as Mr. Brannon well knows being present in the Day Room when I picked up my breakfast at 0545.
It would appear Mr. Brannon dumped the Cheerios on the floor (I observed no others awake at this early hour) simply to play some sort of weird power game as a newly minted assistant manager.
Despite the unjust nature of the charge, I grabbed cleaning tools and swept the mess up, which was quite extensive.
In the future I wll not take the breakfast available in the Day Room, so that I cannot be unjustly accused of spilling things on the floor. I will try to appear in the Day Room only when other people are present.
I will take this opportunity to inform you that I will be discussing with Fran Cendowski and other interested parties to include the VA and your superior, Joe Clark, the serious issues that have become apparent to me at the Facility over the last four months in large part caused by your leadership model.
Sincerely, Ron Barbour
My first impression of Danny Brannon was not positive. I knew nothing about the individual but immediately I got the idea he was a criminal. I think the tip off was the excessive number of tattoos on his arms and his demeanor. I noticed too that he was always watching me and the next thought was, “I’m the guard and he was the inmate.” My radar was dead on target; Mr. Brannon is a certified offender and appears in living color on the Florida Department of Corrections website where he listed as “Probation Felony.” I understand such individuals would normally be in the State prison system but because of overcrowding are placed on a strict parole and watched carefully.
This brings to mind a question: What the heck is Mr. Brannon doing here? Would not this be a case of the VA acting as an enabler? The idea of having a Department of Corrections is to do just that – correct an individual criminal behavior to bring it up to community standards. How is this supposed to happen when the message received by such an individual given an out from prison by placement in this Facility is, “I can game the system?” If a criminal gets this idea then the entire criminal justice exercise come to nothing and can easily result in more severe crimes being committed.
Another problem I have with Mr. Brannon’s placement here is the reason for arrest and conviction in a court of law – His offense is felony battery. No details are listed, but this Facility can offer incidents were physical assaults can happen if individuals lose their cool. For example, we recently had a client here by the name of Charles Cox who attempted to provoke other clients by the use of fighting words. It is fortunate that Mr. Cox did not provoke Mr. Brannon as a tragic result could have been the outcome, perhaps even manslaughter. I’ve noticed clients like Mr., Cox assume they are in a controlled environment and can get away with provocations of other clients and not be aware that potentially violent offenders are in their neighborhood.
I should note at this point that Mr. Brannon is my replacement as assistant manager by Mr. Whitmore’s appointment. I well remember a classic movie entitled an “A Clock Work Orange” in which a sub plot featured criminals in a future society being made policemen. Mr. Whitmore’s decision to make Mr. Brannon assistant manager is tantamount to the movie scene, because surely a criminal would want to be in a position of authority – how better to get away with crime? It would appear the departure of one criminal – Mr. Champion – is quickly followed by the entry of another to authority. I wonder if Mr. Whitmore favors criminals over the honest as staff members? The record so far would indicate he does.
I could relate a number of incidents that indicate Mr. Brannon is not even attempting a reformation of his attitude. I noticed during my tenure as assistant manager that whenever work was to be done; Mr. Brannon was nowhere to be found. I also noticed that his best friend until this individual at last departed the Facility was none other than Mr. Charles Cox. It was interesting to me that Mr. Brannon would often attempt to provoke me while in his presence, perhaps in an effort to gain his favor. Why would any normal person be friends with Mr. Cox who was disliked by nearly everyone at the Facility due to his hate filled language, paranoia and his implied threats of violence unless they were “birds of a feather?”
The only logical conclusion I can come to is that Mr. Whitmore is unfit to command.
Mr. Whitmore is a very troubled individual who has a track record of highly questionable decisions, actions and serious personality disorders that should be addressed by mental health professionals. This would be a long process and it would be unfair to subject persons who themselves are in need of the help of a compassionate leader. Instead, it would appear they get a Ft. Jackson style Drill Sergeant who marches into apartments after first trying to beat down the door to order men out of bed for oversleeping by a few minutes.
I have not yet made a decision whether or not to engage the services of an attorney, but I will fully brief officials of the Veterans Administration on my complaint against Mr. Whitmore. I will not confirm or deny that audio recordings were made of my many interactions with Mr. Whitmore. I would hope the introduction of audio recordings into the record would not be necessary, and that Mr. Whitmore be candid in his response to my allegations and take full responsibility for his many negative actions.
The "full responsiblity" I have in mind is his immediate resignation as Director of the Facility.