By Gordon Duff STAFF WRITER/Senior Editor


The ACLU has been forced to sue your employees, Donna Beiter, your regional manager in Los Angeles and your DVA Security Chief Ronald Mathis.  Both are being sued because of violations of veterans rights, open misconduct performed in their capacity as DVA officials.  There has been a long and clear record of this misconduct from their embarrassing “hi-jinks” during the 2 years of land protests to something more sinister, “sweetheart deals” with politically influential groups that bring little or no revenue to the DVA and have blocked veterans from the use of land legally designated as a Veterans National Home, land in the midst of the largest population of homeless veterans in the country.

No powerful and influential groups will be knocking on your door.  The VFW isn’t involved and the American Legion’s resolution criticizing the land use policies is not being followed up.  In fact, only a few dedicated veterans, threatened, maligned and illegally abused by your employees have stood up for the rights of all, as is so often the case.  Standing on the side of everything that is wrong, everything that is corrupt and everything that is un American are your employees, people you will be allocating funds to defend in court for their wrongdoing.

Yes, the accusation is for wrongdoing, not doing their jobs, not following procedure or law but for violating their responsbility to you, their obligation to veterans, and possibly for supporting interests that bring into question other more severe and endemic problems in the management of the region.  If you can’t trust your employees to use common sense or to comply with law in the performance of their daily tasks, employees at the highest level of the DVA, how can we be certain about anything in the region from claims processing to the delivery of health care?

This is about homeless veterans and giving them the services that you have promised, services are undeliverable because you have people working for you that serve an agenda other than caring for veterans.  We have seen it, patterns of continual abuses, lies and a police state mentality.  We have seen surveillance teams, protesters have been subjected to “agent provocateurs” and infiltrators and, eventually, things reached a point where your department had become an actual threat to the Constitution of the United States of America, a document you have spent most of your adult life sworn to protect and defend.

Nobody can pretend this isn’t going on.  It has been in newspapers repeatedly, on television and even put on your desk by the American Legion.  There is every reason for the Federal Bureau of Investigation to initiate an inquiry into the pattern of “asset management” in the region from as far back as 1997.  Clearly things don’t “add up.”

The desired solution is simple.  It is all about serving the veterans community, not a prep school, not wealthy pet owners, not a theatre guild, not a homeowners group repackaged as a veterans organization.  Why would veterans in the last years of their lives devote so much time, effort and sacrifice, risking life and health to a cause if it weren’t just?

What is expected is simple.  An audit of activities including asset management, illegal use of police and surveillance units and potential conflicts of interest with local groups must be initiated including a request for independent law enforcement to get involved as a police agency is directly involved in the wrongdoing.  This is a normal federal procedure, as you know.  That veterans have full confidence in your department is vital and, for years, issues involving that confidence have been very much at the forefront.  Your efforts to correct these problems have been noted and are very much appreciated by this veteran and so many others.

We know there are programs underway with groups such as New Directions to supply needed veteran housing in the region but these alone are not enough.  Yet we are seeing no efforts to define the problem and enact a solution, only efforts to give more land away and close off options for serving veterans.  Seeing this happen during wartime is not just puzzling, it is insane.

It is our belief that spending DVA resources defending individuals who have clearly engaged in a pattern of wrongdoing that is in no way part of their duties as federal employees is a misallocation of DVA resources and morally bankrupt.  There is every reason to believe that management in the Los Angeles region is going to remain unable to perform needed duties in a manner consistent with the welfare of America’s veterans.  The ACLU would never have filed suit for such egregious violations of rights were this not the case, as you know.

Gordon Duff

USMC Vietnam 69/70

(100% combat disabled veteran)

Senior Editor


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