|Mardaddy||22 Oct 2016 7:14 p.m. PST|
This is really beyond the pale. The supervisors who "proof" the eligibility screwed up, so 10,000+ soldiers (not sure if many or most are out of the service already) face wage garnishments, tax liens and interest penalties repaying a bonus they signed on for to face more tours in Iraq and Afganistan for.
|Private Matter||23 Oct 2016 3:26 a.m. PST|
|GarrisonMiniatures ||23 Oct 2016 4:27 a.m. PST|
No, they made a deal with the authorities – it's up to the authorities to honour that deal. Wonder if they could take the government to court on the grounds of breach of contract? After all, they only signed up because of the deal, they wouldn't have otherwise. At best, that's breach of contract, at worst fraud.
|Zargon ||23 Oct 2016 6:35 a.m. PST|
| etotheipi ||23 Oct 2016 9:14 a.m. PST|
after audits revealed widespread overpayments by the California Guard
The problem with the article is that the National Guard
Bureau in the Pentagon (a Federal entity) doesn't "run" the state National Guard units. It is a liaison to them from the Federal government they support when called up. If the state Guard bureaus screwed this up, then they are liable to the Fed for improperly handling the money. If they choose to take it out on individual soldiers, that's their (pathetic) call. BTW, that's why the article cites cases in state courts, not Federal ones … the NGB (generally) can't bring a suit against an individual in a state court.
The article does state that this type of problem happened in all the state GB. It didn't point out that this type of problem always happens in all the state GB and still is. The difference is one (presumably one) effected large, systematic abuses. Normally, a state GB would seek to garnish the wages (and eventually retirements) of the state GB individual involved to recover 10's of thousands of dollars. The alternative is the state GB takes the hit to their Federal funding initiatives, because it's the state GB that owes recomp back to the Congress (well, really the Treasury, but not the NGB) of misappropriating and misallocating funds given to them under NGB initiatives.
No chance anyone (even a group of them) in the state GB is going to live long enough to pay back the kind of money that is owed. So the state has to go after the individuals.
I like that the article is shining a light on this problem. I don't like that it is not shining a light on the factors that are important in finding a solution.
|CeruLucifus||23 Oct 2016 9:21 a.m. PST|
I tend to agree. Payment of bonus should represent de facto approval, so government shouldn't be able to ask for it back. Now that the government has discovered the approval process was poorly implemented, we should improve that process for future re-enlistee bonus programs. But not go back and try to renege on soldiers who re-enlisted in good faith.
And this example where they can't find the contract is just silly. They have record of payment and a service record that proves the re-enlistment. If they need the contract for their files, they should have him sign another one.
Now where the re-enlistee's paperwork was fraudulent, that's where government has a case.
| etotheipi ||23 Oct 2016 9:28 a.m. PST|
No, they made a deal with the authorities – it's up to the authorities to honour that deal. Wonder if they could take the government to court on the grounds of breach of contract?
Most likely not, because they are being prosecuted under the terms of the contract they signed. The problem in these cases comes when people signing, executing, and overseeing the contracts ignore (willfully or through negligence) terms and conditions.
|Ed Mohrmann ||23 Oct 2016 9:36 a.m. PST|
Soldiers and dogs keep off the grass….
| Rrobbyrobot ||24 Oct 2016 4:34 a.m. PST|
This is just the kind of thing that has lead me,a veteran of twelve years service, to discourage my sons from enlisting.
|Private Matter||24 Oct 2016 10:15 a.m. PST|
etotheipi is correct in that this a state matter. The reenlistment bonuses were to have been limited to certain mos skills but in California there was fraud committed and the guardsmen (gender neutrality intended) now the victims. The state of California could absorb this debt but their deficit makes this a hard pill to swallow. It's not fair to the guard members in the least but it's unfortunately legal. If congress would/could enact legislation that could hold states accountable for their messes like this it would help.
|Streitax ||25 Oct 2016 2:54 p.m. PST|
Suing the state can cost as much as paying the 'debt'. There is no money to drive a class action suit, so lawyers are not going to take the cases pro bono or for a cut of the award.
| etotheipi ||26 Oct 2016 3:43 p.m. PST|
Technically, that's not pro bono (for the (greater?) good), it's "on contingency".
|Mardaddy||27 Oct 2016 6:31 a.m. PST|
Well here's so.e sanity… The Defense Secretary just ordered the Pentagon to stop trying to collect those bonuses back. On my phone so cannot link.
|Garand||28 Oct 2016 10:06 a.m. PST|
Article about the above.