Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Not over yet



Not over yet

Not over yet

To the Editor,

I wish to clarify a few points in your article,

"American Aid Project in turmoil", Feb 24, 1995.

Concerning Mr

Leckinger's statement of going over very dime that came into the country and was

under his control and not ten cents missing. Ask him what happened to the

envelope that contained $2,500 that went missing from the safe one day. Only

three people had access to that safe and Tom Leckinger never even had an

inquiry, never mind an investigation into the matter. In fact I am willing to

bet that nowhere on any financial statements is there mention of that $2,500

that just seemed to walk away. That is only one of many examples I can document

that would dispute Mr Leckinger's claim of total accountability of program funds

under his control.

Mr Leckinger's statements about being debarred completely speaks for itself.

However, my statement was turned into pablum. I stated to the Post and still

maintain that it was unconscionable for Mr Muller to hire Ton Leckinger having

full knowledge that at that time Tom Leckinger was under indictment on a felony

charge for grand theft, not facing disciplinary charges as stated. The fact that

Mr Leckinger has not been found guilty of any crime to date is not in question

here. The fact remains that at the time Mr Muller hired Tom Leckinger he knew

Leckinger was under indictment for grand larceny theft. For that action I

challenged Mr Muller's professional conduct. Even though the judge has dropped

the charges in return for Mr Leckinger's accepting being debarred and paying

back restitution, the District Attorney in this case has appealed that decision

and the case is still being decided. It is not all over and done with. Not

yet.

Mr Muller is correct in stating my personal conflicts with the

organization. After all I was forced to resign, had all funding terminated

without prior warning or notice, and have been denied by Mr Muller's VVAF any

review of my case-never mind an appeal of their punitive actions. In fact, not

one person from VVAF, National or it's governing board of directors has made any

attempt to communicate with me, an eight-year veteran of VVAF, on a professional

or personal level, nor have they made any attempt to answer my many attempts for

information relating to my case. I simply have no rights or do not exist in

their eyes. I have been forced to obtain a lawyer and am in the process of

reviewing my legal options against Mr Muller and his VVAF.

Mr Muller did ask Mr Leckinger to resign in August 1994 but what he

conveniently leaves out is that he ordered Mr Leckinger out of the team house

immediately and had him checked into a hotel room. He then went on to hire Mr

Leckinger back as a special consultant under a USAID extension grant at an

increased salary of almost $ 2,000 per month. Mr Muller paid Mr Leckinger his

consultants fee covertly through a live-in companions bank account via wire

transfers.

It's not the first time Mr Muller has fired Tom Leckinger.

When Leckinger was the General Council for Mr Muller's Vietnam Veterans of

America (VVA) he as fires in 1995 by Mr Muller in a hotel room in front of

witnesses who would not hesitate to state so on the record. I believe it had to

do with an incident in south Florida that Mr Leckinger was sent down there to

clean up.

I disliked your ending paragraph concerning derogatory

statements about Vietnam veterans still fighting the war but you can not use the

persons name who made the statement. Well this is not about the Vietnam war,

it's about real people who are on record challenging an NGO's integrity in it's

process and procedures for spending other people's money. It's about real

people, both foreign and Khmer, losing their jobs, livelihoods, reputations and

hard earned respect.

Perhaps your anonymous "insider" should examine his

or her own motives for playing it safe by refusing to take a closer look at the

dangerous situation that does in fact exist at VVAF.

I'm on record and

always sign my name.

- Ron Podlaski, Disgruntled Employee, Vietnam Veterans of America

foundation.

MOST VIEWED

  • Would you like fries with that? US burger chain makes Phnom Penh debut

    California-based The Habit Burger Grill restaurant chain is all set to serve up a delicious array of charbroiled burgers and sides at its newest international location in the centre of Phnom Penh. The Habit is “renowned for its award-winning Charburgers grilled over an open flame,

  • Phnom Penh underpass opens to ease traffic

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced a temporary opening of the 488m underpass at the Chaom Chao roundabout in Phnom Penh’s Por Sen Chey district, which was recently completed to connect traffic from National Road 4 to Russian Federation Blvd. The move is to reduce

  • ‘No chance Cambodia booted out of ASEAN’

    A group of former and current Cambodian diplomats on Tuesday fired back at retired Singaporean diplomat Bihalari Kausikan after he proposed that ASEAN dismiss Cambodia and Laos from the bloc. In an open letter, the Cambodian diplomats said Kausikan’s remarks were made from a

  • Woman seeks answers after arrest of American partner

    Filipina Lalaine de Guzman, 48, is demanding answers for the detention of her American partner by Cambodian immigration officers after he was arrested at their home almost 90 days ago. She said without an arrest warrant or proffering any criminal charges, Stephen Sidney Greatsinger, 56, is being detained

  • Banteay Meanchey flood victims receive aid

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday provided aid to more than 10,000 families affected by flooding in Banteay Meanchey province’s Mongkol Borei district and offered his condolences to the 18 victims who drowned in the province over the past week. He said flooding had occured in

  • PM urges caution as Polish man tests positive for Covid

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday reported that a 47-year-old Polish man tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Cambodia on Monday. There are a total of six Covid-19 patients currently in the country, all of whom are being treated at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital