The firings came shortly after the two whistleblowers protested an order to saw off the fused arm bone of a dead Marine so he could fit in his dress uniform and casket.
The Air Force said Friday it will impose harsher penalties on the former commander and chief deputy of the Dover Air Force Base mortuary after a federal probe found they retaliated against subordinates for reporting systematic problems there, including cases in which body parts were lost.
The announcement was made in response to an investigation by the Office of Special Counsel, an independent federal agency that protects whistleblowers. The probe found that Edmondson, Dean and another supervisor had provided phony reasons to fire or punish four mortuary workers who had exposed problems there.
Two of the Dover whistleblowers were terminated in 2010 for allegedly watching an X-rated movie at the mortuary, according to the Office of Special Counsel’s report, which was made public Friday. The investigation determined that the film was an R-rated cop flick — “Brooklyn’s Finest,” starring Richard Gere and Ethan Hawke — and that movie-watching was officially encouraged during employee breaks as a way to reduce stress.
The firings came shortly after the two whistleblowers protested an order to saw off the fused arm bone of a dead Marine so he could fit in his dress uniform and casket. One of them, James G. Parsons Sr., an embalming technician, filed complaints about the incident, saying it amounted to mutilation.