Panetta Supports Air Force Discipline in Dover Mortuary Case

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta believes the punishment was appropriate that the Air Force levied against former supervisors at the service-run military mortuary at Dover AFB, Del., for reprisals against several whistleblowers, said Pentagon Press Secretary George Little. “He has confidence that the Air Force took the appropriate steps here,” said Little of Panetta during a May 22 press briefing. The Air Force announced on May 21 that it had reprimanded Col. Robert Edmondson, former commander of the mortuary, and required that he forfeit $7,000 in pay. Trevor Dean, who had been Edmondson’s top civilian deputy, received a 20-day suspension without pay. Quinton Keel, a third former mortuary official who resigned before the punishment, still received a letter of censure, according to the Air Force’s statement on the disciplinary actions. Little said Panetta was satisfied that the Air Force “took appropriate steps” to investigate the problems at the mortuary and then look into the disciplinary actions. (Little transcript) (See also AFPS report by Jim Garamone and Office of Special Counsel release.)