Money misuse at USNA a factor in Fowler's ouster as Superintendent

Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by Luigi59, Jun 29, 2010.

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  1. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    Money misuse inquiry helped curtail Naval Academy leader's tenure

    July 29, 2010

    ANNAPOLIS — — An investigation that found wide-ranging misuse of money at the U.S. Naval Academy was a factor in curtailing the tenure of its outgoing superintendent, the Navy's chief spokesman said Monday.

    The investigative report released Monday found that an improper, off-the-books slush fund was used to pay for tailgate parties, luncheons and other events for senior academy personnel.

    Vice Adm. Jeffrey Fowler is leaving the academy this summer after serving as superintendent for 3 years, the minimum term required by statute for the post.

    "The outcome of this investigation was a factor in him not serving longer," said Navy Rear Adm. Denny Moynihan, the Navy's top spokesman.

    Moynihan said Fowler didn't benefit financially from any of the spending.

    The Office of the Naval Inspector General's 110-page report concluded that the slush fund used by the Naval Academy Business Services Division was "a sham" with little accountability.

    "In this case, there was no accountability, because the fund was unknown to the assigned government auditor and it was held outside of any authorized system of government accounting," the report said.

    The report noted that expenditures made from the fund were "extravagant and wasteful." The investigation also concluded that the spending benefited senior academy personnel and family of football coaches, instead of going toward students and the active duty population at the academy.

    Moynihan said the review provided a detailed assessment on how the academy could better adhere to regulations.

    Fowler issued a statement saying that steps have been taken to fix the problems identified in the investigation.

    "It has and remains the Naval Academy's goal to remain responsible stewards of private and public funding," Fowler said.

    The report also criticizes the use of $3.7 million to produce recruiting videos with a Los Angeles company. The report said the contracting officer made no effort to determine if the contract was reasonable.

    Robert Parsons, the academy's deputy for finance who worked on the deal with the company, was suspended for five days without pay, Moynihan said. Corrective action was taken against another Naval Academy employee, who was not identified, Moynihan said, declining to elaborate because of the person's grade and position at the academy.

    The academy had announced this spring that Fowler was being replaced as superintendent after about three years. His replacement takes over this summer.
     
  2. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    Navy Times has it also, for those who are thinking the Baltimore Sun is biased.

    ‘Slush fund’ a factor in USNA supe’s exit

    By Andrew Tilghman - Staff writer
    Posted : Tuesday Jun 29, 2010 9:27:49 EDT

    A sprawling financial scandal at the Naval Academy — involving extravagant parties and a “slush fund” — was an embarrassment that helped lead to an early exit for the school’s superintendent, Navy Times has learned.

    Vice Adm. Jeffrey Fowler faced “administrative action” in April as a result of a year-long Naval Inspector General’s investigation, said Rear Adm. Denny Moynihan, the Navy’s top spokesman.

    Other questionable spending probed by the IG included:

    • Annual spending of $400,000 or more for academy-sponsored tailgate events at football bowl games over the past six years.

    • Spending $157,000 to purchase an 18-wheel tractor trailer truck for the academy’s football team.

    • Spending $325,000 to purchase an antique airplane model that hangs in the front entrance to Dahlgren Hall.

    • Spending $3,715,187 on video production services to create recruiting videos.

    • Spending several million dollars to renovate the dining facilities of the Naval Academy Club and the Club at Greenbury Point.
     
  3. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    He should have been fired for what he did to 2013 regarding Herndon.

    This is just icing on the cake.
     
  4. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Slush fund? ouch.
    sounds like some serious GASB violations.
     
  5. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    No joke.

    Assuming journalistic malpractice is absent (for once), I don't think this will end well for the Admiral. :thumbdown:
     
  6. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    Ahh... many things now fall into place. I had heard some comments and wondered what "the real story" was and when the ax would fall.

    NAF (non-appropriated funds) management practices for the club renovations are always a dicey area, and have been the downfall of many an installation commander. I also remember how tough it was to manage ORF (official representation funds) when it came to hosting appropriate social events, and you had to have an approved mix of official guests there, very strict guidelines about what staff, spouses and other non-official guests could partake.

    Lots of money streams at USNA - appropriated funds of all flavors, NAF, NAAA (a separate 501c3 entity that pays coaching salaries and many other varsity costs) funds, possibly Recruiting money for Admissions (a guess), Naval Academy Foundation (another separate 501c3 for charitable giving) - a potent and troublesome brew that takes careful oversight and coordination of expenditure and record-keeping IAW accepted DOD/DON standards. USNA is not like any other shore installation in the Navy, and it's a money headache. If you have never managed a shore installation budget, much less USNA, it's the Olympics of mingled streams of funds.

    Assuming best intentions by the Superintendent, it becomes a case of "he knew or should have known," and I would bet on the latter, where a commanding officer, often, to his/her eventual regret, relies on senior subordinates to get it right and doesn't probe more deeply, especially in a case where it might involve long-established practices. It's the routine money stuff that will bite you in the a**, while you're fighting the wolves snapping at you from the other side of the sled.

    And the poop seems to be flowing downhill as well.

    I predict retirement at 2 stars vice 3, though perhaps it will unravel further. Much will depend on intent, any orders given in conflict with official advice from a JAG or Comptroller, and the mood of SECNAV and the Congress.
     
  7. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    $400,000 on tailgate parties at Football Bowl Games last 6 years.

    That is over $65,000 per tailgate party. :eek:

    And that football team tractor trailer must have been such a necessity. :rolleyes:

    It's no surprise that those here who are so supportive of Uncle Jeff are so reluctant to criticize the D1 Big Money football program.

    No biting the hand that feeds you. Literally. :rolleyes:

    Bowl game tailgate parties, 7.1 yards per carry - that's what Fowler was all about, spending big dollars on the alumni and fat-cat donators while the non-football playing Mids ate hamburger buns smothered in gravy for breakfast.
     
  8. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    You're not kidding. I believe that the USCGA and the USMMA have both had some "inconsistencies" in those areas over the last few years. The USCGA investigation led to the suicide of the athletic department's business manager, while the USMMA issue led to the firing of many staff who were being paid from those NAFs.
     
  9. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Expertise, unencumbered by facts or experience...:rolleyes:
     
  10. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    I had a hard enough time managing (and more importantly, DOCUMENTING) the Wardroom Mess Treasury. It's amazing how something so otherwise absurdly simple could turn around and bite you on the behind in a blink. It was one of the first things audited each month, and with gusto.

    I can only imagine what it must be like to have hundreds of thousands under the control of others. What a pain.

    What this also reveals is the "dirty side" of being an officer, especially a Commanding Officer. All the posters, pamphlets, movies, etc., preach the coolness factor of flying F18 off a carrier, or SEALs sneaking into enemy harbors, or submarines going places you'd never dream, but when you put the uniform on, you find that 85% or more of your time can actually be taken up by such mundane crap as book keeping. Go figure.

    Which isn't to say the experience isn't valuable; it's just not quite what you were expecting when you signed up. :wink:
     
  11. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    Per game tailgate?

    I'd like to know which D3 schools are doing that.

    Can you support that statement with any links?
     
  12. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    You dispute the facts of the IG?

    Read the report before you comment (again) on the messenger (again) while ignoring the facts (again) in the report.

    As for hamburger buns smothered in gravy pasing for a meal, obviously you are ignorant of that situation happening at USNA as well, a result of a Fowler policy.
     
  13. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Not commenting on the messenger, but on his behavior. You sure do like to trash the Big 3 SA's. Why is that?

    I won't comment on your lack of knowledge about LOAs, but suffice it to say that Zaphod is spot on.
     
  14. goldfarb1

    goldfarb1 Candidate

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    65k a tailgate party?

    There are usually about 4-5 home games a year, right?

    So let's just round down and go with 4 games a year. Multiply that by 6 years and you get 24 games. Divide $400,000 by 24 and that's something closer to $16,700. Still a lot, but not 65k.
     
  15. goldfarb1

    goldfarb1 Candidate

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    Oh and include me into scoutpilot's minion this time.
     
  16. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    And then there were two :thumb:

    My power grows! Soon we'll be large enough to be noticed by ACORN and paid for our votes! :yllol:
     
  17. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    Reporting news is not trashing. I don't make this stuff up.

    Hiding from it solves nothing. Ignoring it helps no one. Those who do not remember history...... And so one.

    Why are you so defensive about reading truthful news articles that detail bad leadership of any of the academies?

    It matters not to me which one is doing it, the "Big" 3 or "those other 2."

    My reference to the money scandal at the USCGA athletic department last year pretty much renders your allegation false, btw. If there is more "bad" news coming from USMMA or USCGA, by all means post it. It's not as if I ignore it when it happens, it just doesn't happen as often at smaller schools such as those two.

    Your beef is with Navy Times, Associated Press, Baltimore Sun, etc - they are your "bad guys" for exposing Fowler's lack of leadership, not me.

    Honor and character suffered greatly at USNA during Jeff Fowler's tenure as Supe, tarnishing a great institution.
     
  18. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    Do you know much about college football? How many BOWL games do you think they play each year?

    [edit by KP2001: it says bowl games]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 29, 2010
  19. Mongo

    Mongo Banned

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    goldfarb, scout, count me in.

    It's not the reporting, it's the wild *** supposition "editorials" which accompany it that shows his hand. Scout, I do believe you are totally correct.
     
  20. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    Yes, we know you'll support Fowler

    From retaining drug using football players who avg 7.1 per carry to a failed honor system, Jeff Fowler was a failure as a Supe and the USNA suffered.

    But those lobster tails, shrinp cocktail, and champagne tailgates were enough for him to buy your support, huh? :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 29, 2010
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