GULFPORT, MISS. (CN) – The former National Commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart claims the group removed him in a “stacked” and unfair hearing because he reported that the group’s $3.4 million Life Membership Fund “could not be found by the independent auditors while conducting their annual audit.”
Henry J. Cook says the group unfairly accused him of making the money disappear. He denies it. He says he found the money, placed it into a trust account and ordered an investigation, but the Order booted him before the probe could be completed.
Cook also sued Jeffery Roy, the Order’s National Senior Vice Commander, whom he says ordered that the investigation of the fund stop, and the investigators turn all their work over to him.
Cook says the investigators and auditors refused to do that, but insisted they would submit their work to the MOPH Finance Committee, which refused to accept it.
“Plaintiff verily believes that the reason the Finance Committee refused the reports is for the reason that the reports identified culprits in the earlier disappearance of the Life Membership Fund. This very Finance Committee had previously filed a grievance procedure against the plaintiff herein seeking to remove him from office and membership in the MOPH, alleging that it was the plaintiff that misappropriated the Life Membership Fund.”
Cook claims that Roy then set up a Grievance Panel, and stacked it against him. He claims that “one member resigned when he learned that he was expected to vote a certain way.”
Cook also sued Grievance Panel members James Durkin, Al Silvano and William Wroolie. He demands an injunction and declaratory judgment.
Cook is represented by Horace Scruggs of Bay St. Louis, Miss.