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Saturday, Apr. 19, 2014

Warren admits thefts from vets

Friday, January 24, 2014

Gordon Warren made a plea of guilty to stealing some $55,000 from the United Veterans Council and the American Legion since 2006.
(T-G Photo by Brian Mosely)
Gordon Warren, Bedford County's former veterans service officer, pleaded guilty Thursday to theft of funds from the United Veterans Council and the American Legion.

Criminal information was submitted to Circuit Court Judge Forest Durard, bypassing the grand jury, and Warren waived his right to go through that process.

Warren pleaded guilty to theft over $10,000 and theft over $1,000, and will be on probation for six years.

On dates between 2006 and 2013, Warren wrote out checks to himself and took various other monies from the United Veterans Council totalling $49,787.25, according to assistant district attorney Richard Cawley.

Warren also had access to the American Legion's checking account during that time, taking $5,538.58, Cawley said.

If he keeps out of trouble, Warren's record could be expunged, but violating his probation could also result in being sent to the penitentiary, Durard warned.

Warren also made restitution of $55,325.43 to the United Veterans Council and the Legion immediately after pleading guilty. He was represented by attorney John Norton.

Last May in a letter to Warren, Tennessee Commissioner of Veterans Affairs Many-Bears Grinder recommended that his accreditation with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs be withdrawn.

Grinder cited Warren's scheduled office hours, saying that they were inconvenient to veterans and that they did not meet the minimum of 1,000 hours per year required for accreditation.

Warren claimed during a report to the county commission last June that the complaints against him were due to a power struggle within the local American Legion post.