Texas General Land Office Investment Officer Relieved After Interviewing State Veterans Cemeteries | Local news

A Texas General Land Office investment official was “removed from his post” after publicly asking why the state should have cemeteries for veterans, including Killeen’s, when they lose money.

Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush announced in a letter to the Texas Legislature on Thursday that Rusty Martin had been removed from his post regarding Veterans Land Council operations.

In light of comments Martin made on October 28 on the status and funding of cemeteries between the State Cemeteries Board, the Texas Veterans Commission, the Veterans Land Board and the Texas General Land Office, Eric Brown, director Texas State Veterans Cemeteries Assistant. , resigned.

Brown is a retired Air Force master sergeant, who had led the state’s four veterans cemeteries since 2013.

“Remember, when you talk about supporting these cemeteries, you are talking about eternity,” Martin said at the October 28 meeting. “You can’t predict what the land and housing (loan) programs will look like 10 years from now, let alone 200 years from now. If the loan demand drops precipitously over time then you really don’t have any income for the program, at some point you will be siphoning off all the funds available for the program.

“I’m a money guy. I am not comfortable putting money into a program that is losing money.

Following Martin’s release, David Repp, senior deputy director and chief financial officer, will assume the duties, Bush said.

John Kelley has also been appointed the new Deputy Director of Cemeteries, succeeding Brown. Kelley is a retired United States Army veteran after 23 years of service, reaching the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, with deployments to Afghanistan and Kosovo.

“I am confident that these personnel changes will have a positive impact on our day-to-day operations and better reflect the mission and values ​​of our agency,” said Bush.

Gregory M. Roy