COL Thomas Melvin Murphy (retired), recently plead guilty in federal court to operating a Ponzi scheme while serving as the Commander of the California National Guard Joint Forces Training Base Los Alamitos. This should be shocking to have a high ranking officer not just committing crimes but doing so from his government office. Sadly, this is just another example of the corrupt and unethical leadership in the California National Guard.
The Guard is embroiled in yet another scandal. In 2005 the scandal centered around the Bird Sanctuary, the handing out 6-figure jobs to high ranking officers, often times not even requiring those officers to come in to work except to pick up their check. The current scandal is much more diversified this time, but still centers around cronyism and patronage at the highest levels. Current un-investigated complaints include the program of handing out lucrative state jobs with the military department to fake soldiers, family and friends, girlfriends and mistresses of high ranking officers who are put in uniform and given rank without any prior military experience.
Starting in the Fall of 2010, CPT Ronald Clark, blew the whistle on an attempted cover up of a $100 million dollar fraud. He would later be discharged by the Guard, but would not be alone. Other whistle blowers gained the courage to come forward. By the end of 2011 their numbers would grow to over 30, exposing wide spread corruption within the California National Guard. Many of the whistle blowers were removed from active duty, fired from their state jobs, and/or discharged from the Guard, in retaliation.
In January 2012 more than 30 military whistle blowers travelled to Sacramento to meet with Senate Rules Committee Staffers to submit complaints and offer testimony about the wide spread corruption within the California National Guard; and the cover up of corruption being perpetrated by many of its senior leadership, including the Commander of the California National Guard, newly promoted General David Baldwin.
On February 15th a dozen of those whistle blowers went on camera in a public hearing with their testimony. During the hearing Senate President Darrel Steinberg (D), promised that the Senate would investigate their complaints. He also later publically promised to call for oversight hearings. These turned out to be just more statements made by a politician when the cameras are on that later turn out to be lies.
Letters to Senator Steinberg by whistle blowers go un-answered. Governor Jerry Brown (D), is refusing to meet with whistle blowers. The California Senate Committee on Veteran’s Affairs, headed by Senator Lou Correa (D), is silent. Despite dozens of letters and hundreds of calls to the State Legislature, no Representative has as yet called for oversight hearings or investigations of the Guard. Meanwhile, the Guard continues to retaliate against whistle blowers.
It was once thought that this corruption was limited to just the California National Guard. But with the State Senate and the Governor’s Office protecting the corrupt, one has to wonder who else is involved.