Gloria Dean Davis – Major, United States Army

NEWS RELEASES from the United States Department of Defense
December 14, 2006

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Major Gloria D. Davis, 47, of St. Louis, Missouri, died December 12, 2006, in Baghdad, Iraq, from a non-combat related incident. She was assigned to the Defense Security Assistance Agency, Washington, D.C.

The incident is under investigation.

For further information related to this release, contact the Defense Security Assistance Agency at (703) 601-3670.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

In the small Southeast Missouri town of Portageville, Major Gloria Davis is remembered as a hero.

An 18-year Army veteran, the 47-year-old Davis died December 12, 2006, from a gunshot wound while stationed in Iraq, friends and family said.

A military funeral was held Friday in Arlington National Cemetery outside Washington, D.C.

But for many Portageville residents that's not enough.

DeLisle Funeral Home in Portageville is planning a memorial service December 30, 2006. The town is buying flags to hand out to bystanders along the route from the funeral home to the city cemetery. where the memorial service will conclude.

The Department of Defense said Davis' death was from a “noncombat” incident and that her death is under investigation.

Family friend Jan Saxton, who works as a clerk in the local post office, said she and others in the town of 3,500 people view Davis as a hero who died in military service to her country.

“Everybody is saying how good it was that she was fighting for her country,” said Saxton, who is a close friend of Portageville resident Annie Washington, Davis' mother.

Davis was assigned to the Defense Security Assistance Agency in Washington, D.C., the Defense Department said. She was deployed to Iraq in September and had been stationed in Baghdad.

Saxton described Davis as a woman who had a strong religious faith. Davis moved away from Portageville years ago. She resided in St. Louis.

George DeLisle, owner of DeLisle Funeral Home, remembers Davis from high school. Davis graduated from Portageville High School in 1977. DeLisle graduated in 1978.

“She was a good girl,” DeLisle said.

“Her family is well-known. That is why Portageville wants to do something for her,” he said.

Portageville is home not only to Davis' mother, but also her brother, Michael Scott.

“I have had calls all day from people trying to help,” DeLisle said.

DeLisle said Davis recently made a Christmas donation to the Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Marston, Mo., where her mother worships.

DeLisle is still working on plans for the 11 a.m. memorial service at his funeral home. He expects a large turnout including family and church members, and representatives from Bootheel police and fire departments, the Missouri National Guard and the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Police chief Ronnie Adams plans to hand out small American flags to those who want to line the funeral route, starting at 10 a.m. at Portageville High School, DeLisle said. The school is about 12 blocks from the funeral home.

DeLisle hopes the route from the funeral home to the city cemetery will be crowded with people.

The memorial service will conclude at the cemetery.

2007 News Reports:

The biggest bribery case of the Iraq war so far involves Army Major John Cockerham, a former contracting officer at Arifjan, who is accused of taking $9.6 million in bribes from at least eight companies seeking contracts to provide bottled water and other supplies.

Major Gloria Davis, a fellow contracting officer at Arifjan who worked on several contracts with Cockerham. Davis killed herself in December, a day after admitting to Army investigators that she took $225,000 in bribes from contractor Lee Dynamics International, federal court records say. Lee Dynamics also hired Davis' son, Damien Thomas, the company's lawyer says. The Army suspended Lee Dynamics from contracting in July.

Davis' son and daughter are challenging the government's efforts to seize $177,000 prosecutors say are proceeds from Lee Dynamics bribes. Their lawyer, Lars Liebeler, declined to comment on Thomas' job. Liebeler said the siblings do not want to discuss the case.

Howell Riggs, Lee Dynamics' lawyer, said founder George Lee hired Thomas as a trainee.

“Mr. Lee was motivated by a desire to help a young black man see a different life than the life of an unemployed minority learning from the college of street life,” Riggs said in an e-mail. “Other than expressing her distress about her son's situation, Maj. Davis played no role in LDI's decision” to hire Thomas.

Cockerham, in jail since July, has pleaded not guilty. “We're going to be fighting the charges,” said his attorney, Jimmy Parks.

An American-owned company operating from Kuwait paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to American contracting officers in efforts to win more than $11 million in contracts, the government says in court documents.

One of those officers, Major Gloria D. Davis, a contracting official working in Kuwait, shot and killed herself in Baghdad in December 2006. Government officials say the suicide occurred a day after she admitted to an Army investigator that she had accepted at least $225,000 in bribes from the company. The United States has begun proceedings to seize Major Davis’s assets, a move that is contested by her heirs.

Lee Dynamics appears to be emblematic of scores of companies formed since the Iraqi government fell to take advantage of billions of dollars in contracts to clothe, feed and arm American troops in Kuwait and to sustain Iraq security forces in Iraq.

According to a July 9 statement by Larry S. Moreland, an agent with the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command, the company’s founder, George H. Lee, and an unnamed person formed American Logistics Services, a Kuwait-based company, to provide logistical support to the military.

In 2004, the company was awarded $11.7 million in contracts to build, operate and maintain several warehouses in Iraq. The court papers contend that as a result of bribes, the company illegally received advance information about the contracts.

In May 2005, the document said, Mr. Lee and his son, Justin W. Lee, shifted assets and contracts to Lee Dynamics, and its contract to maintain the warehouses was renewed in July 2005 even though its performance had been abysmal, said two American officials who were in the country at the time.

That month, after Major Davis moved to the Pentagon, Lee Dynamics was awarded a $12 million warehousing contract. Before the award, Major Davis told George Lee that his company would receive a “glowing report” during the bidding, court documents in the government’s case to seize Major Davis’s assets say.

Between August 2005 and April 2006, the company transferred more than $220,900 in three separate deposits to bank accounts controlled by Major Davis, according to the court filings.

According to its Web site, Lee Dynamics’ warehouses in Taji, Umm Qasr, Ramadi, Mosul and Tikrit, all in Iraq, “have received, stored and issued a large part of the more than a billion dollars worth of materials and equipment that has been ordered for the reconstruction of Iraq.”

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