Former USS Arizona Memorial worker claims corruption

(Via KHON)

A former park guide at the USS Arizona Memorial is stepping forward with allegations against management and a lawsuit.

KHON2 first reported in March that tour companies were selling tickets when they’re supposed to be free.

Earlier this week, several reports revealed that top managers either knew or were involved.

John Landrysmith worked as a park guide at the USS Arizona Memorial for three years. As a war veteran, he said it was his dream job.

“To be able to tell people from around the world why this place was so significant and why it was so important was one of the most fulfilling things I ever did,” he said.

Landrysmith welcomed visitors and distributed tickets, but in 2013, he says management began telling workers to set aside tickets for tour companies.

“This made it incredibly hard, because this would mean the next day when we would open the doors, and in many cases before we would even have people inside the facility, we would be out of tickets for the entire day,” he said.

Landrysmith said managers told staff the money would be used to help improve the park, which he says never happened. He reported his concerns to a manager.

“The next day, I was called into the office and given a verbal warning for insubordination,” he said.

Landrysmith also claims his former employer made the situation difficult for him and changed his work shift.

Attorney Michael Green will be filing a lawsuit naming four managers at the USS Arizona. His client wants the people who allegedly knew about the wrongdoing to be held accountable.

“It kind of makes me sick to my stomach,” he said.

Paul Deprey, National Parks Service superintendent, told KHON2 he could not comment on issues related to employees under the National Park Service’s privacy policy and that “nothing has been submitted to the National Park Service related to this at this point.”

Deprey said park officials evaluated the program, uncovered problems and corrected them immediately.

“We’ve taken several steps over the past, well since January really, to improve how we operate the program and improve how the program, the ticket reservation program, can provide improved services to our visitors,” he said. “I think that those stand as examples of us recognizing when there are problems and taking appropriate actions to respond to those problems in an appropriate manner.”

“Do you want your job back?” KHON2 asked. “If they offered it to me, I would take it,” Landrysmith said. “I very much would like to have my job back. It was quite an honor as a veteran to be able to continue to honor those men.”

Landrysmith left his job earlier this year.

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