Quinton R. Keel, Dover mortuary official, leaves job

GlobalPost

Quinton R. Keel, who once served as Dover Air Force Base mortuary's division director, has left his job today, according to The Washington Post.

The news follows on the earlier scandals, including the latest reports that remains from the victims of September 11, 2001 were sent to a landfill. It is unclear, said The New York Times, whether Keel was fired or resigned, but he was demoted last year from his position as division director.

More on GlobalPost: 9/11 remains ended up in landfill

The Times reported that the Office of Special Counsel said that Keel, along with two other officials, should have been fired last year. The investigation by the Office of Special Counsel revealed that Keel had repeatedly tried to cover up mistakes made in the handling of remains and "misrepresented" his input on important decisions, in addition to attempting to fire two whistleblowers.

The investigation prompted by the whistleblowers "documented instances of missing body parts and the sloppy handling of human remains," said The Post.

"Investigators found that Keel ordered an embalmer to saw off the arm bone of Sgt. Daniel Angus, a Marine killed in Iraq, so he could fit in his dress uniform in a casket. Keel overruled objections from mortuary workers that such an act amounted to mutilation and that they lacked permission from the Marine’s family," said The Post.

Earlier this week, a report from an investigative subcommittee of the Defense Health Board led by retired Army Gen. John P. Abizaid revealed that some unidentified, unclaimed remains from the Pentagon and the Shanksville, Pa. crash on Sept. 11, 2001 may have ended up at a Virginia landfill due to mismanagement.

The Office of Special Counsel said in a statement on Friday that the report on mismanagement at the mortuary would be made public in mid-March, stating, "We remain in communication with senior officials at the Air Force and await their final decisions on disciplinary action for the two supervisors who remain on staff," according to MSNBC.

The mortuary's commander, Col. Robert Edmondson, was reassigned and reprimanded last year in connection with the scandal, and his civilian deputy, Trevor Dean, was demoted, according to MSNBC.

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