"Funeralgate" was the name given the case involving the nation's largest funeral service company, SCI, and then Gov Bush was subpoenaed to testify in the case but refused, as was his then chief of staff Allbaugh. Luckily then governor Rick Perry called a halt to the case just in time for W. to begin his campaign for the White House. One story on this part of the case is here.
SCI was caught by then Texas funeral service regulator Eliza May after numerous complaints were made against SCI for all kinds of "grave" errors. The company paid $100 million in a class action lawsuit by families for moving bodies into the wrong locations and other "errors". However, the claims were so disturbing and May's actions so bothersome, she was fired from her job, which prompted her to file a suit which was eventually settled out of court.. More details about the cases here.
It was in May's case that she alleged Allbaugh and Bush hassled her to drop her claims, but she didn't. And it wasn't long before questions about lying began to emerge.
And it was about this time Whittington was appointed the take over SCI and help smother the complaints. SCI had been one of the biggest contributors to the Bush campaign for governor.
But, thanks to the help from Allbaugh and Perry, the case was quietly silenced.
However, just a few weeks after Whittington took over, it was found that another SCI operation in Florida (the irony is so thick here you can't cut it with a titanium chainsaw) had been playing hide-the-cadaver in Menorah Gardens and dumping the bodies into the woods.
"... the plaintiff's attorney said that SCI secretly broke into and opened burial vaults and dumped remains in a wooded area where the remains may have been consumed by wild animals.
Additionally, SCI buried "remains in locations other than those purchased by plaintiffs; crushing burial vaults in order to make room for other vaults; burying remains on top of the other rather than side-by-side; secretly digging up and removing remains; secretly burying remains head-to-foot rather than side-by-side; secretly mixing body parts and remains from different individuals; secretly allowing plots owned by one part to be occupied by a different person; secretly selling plots in rows where there were more graves assigned than the rows could accommodate; secretly allowed graves to encroach on other plots; secretly sold plots so narrow that the plots could not accommodate standard burial vaults; secretly participated in the desecration of gravesites and markers and failed to exercise reasonable care in handling the plaintiff's loved ones remains."
But the story isn't over yet.
A subsidiary of SCI , Kenyon International, got handed a no-bid contract to operate a "mobile mortuary" to deal with the bodies left in the destructive wake of Hurricane Katrina. Yep. It pays and pays to be a friend of Bush.
Charged with desecrating corpses? Get a FEMA contract.
In addition (this story seems to have no end!) the same SCI was also the same owner of the crematory in Georgia a few years ago where bodies were never cremated but stacked up like cordwood and stuffed into sheds.
The company's web site proclaims they are dedicated to "compassionately supporting families at difficult times, celebrating the significance of lives that have been lived, and preserving memories that transcend generations, with dignity and honor."
(big thanks to Dr. R. Fleenor for bringing all this to my attention)