Wounded veteran sought for fellowship in Rep. Davids’ office

Rep. Sharice Davids, D-3rd DIst., has announced she is seeking a wounded or disabled veteran for a two-year paid fellowship in her Overland Park district office as part of the Wounded Warrior Fellowship Program.

The person who is chosen will work with the military and veteran constituents to handle veteran-related casework and act as a facilitator between constituents and federal, state and local agenices.

“As the proud daughter of an Army veteran, I know the sacrifices made by the brave men and women who serve our country, and the importance of giving back to those who serve when they return,” Rep. Davids said. “I’m honored to have the opportunity to have a Wounded Warrior Fellow in our district office to ensure the veterans and service members of Kansas’ third district receive the care and services they deserve.”

The Wounded Warrior Fellowship Program was established by the U.S. House of Representatives to provide opportunities for wounded or disabled veterans to work for Congress.

The program is limited to veterans who meet all of the following requirements: Honorably discharged, released from active duty within the last five years, terminal pay grades at or below E-5 or O-3, 20 percent or greater service connected disabilities (waived if you have a Purple Heart). Veterans who are in receipt of a 20-year or Temporary Early Retirement Authorization (TERA) retirement are not eligible for the program.

Interested veterans may go to https://www.usajobs.gov/ and search “Wounded Warrior Fellowship Program” for more information and how to apply.

Overland Park man charged in government contract fraud scheme

Troy L. Bechtel, 49, of Overland Park, Kansas, is charged in a federal indictment with two counts of major program fraud against the United States and two counts of lying to federal investigators, U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said.

The indictment alleges that from August 2009 to April 2013 Bechtel aided and abetted other persons unlawfully to obtain more than $12.7 million from a contract with the Department of Defense.

The indictment alleges Bechtel and other persons falsely represented that United Medical Design Builders, LLC, of Merriam, Kansas, was controlled by co-defendant Joseph David Dial Jr., a disabled veteran of the U.S. Army.

In fact, UMDB was a pass-through company that Dial did not control. The company received a contract through the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business program that was awarded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the design and construction of healthcare facilities at Langley AFB, Andrews AFB, Hanscom AFB and McGuire AFB.

The indictment alleges Bechtel ran the daily operations for UMDB and made project decisions without reporting to or consulting with Dial. Dial was rarely in the office. He also signed a blank sheet of paper that was scanned for use on official letters and correspondence.

Co-defendant Dial pleaded guilty to one count of major program fraud and one count of wire fraud. He is set for sentencing Jan. 28.

If convicted, Bechtel faces up to 10 years in federal prison on each count of defrauding the government and up to five years on each count of lying to investigators, as well as fines and forfeiture judgment representing the amount of proceeds obtained by committing the offenses set out in the indictment.

Investigative agencies include the Small Business Administration – Officer of Inspector General, General Services Administration – Office of Inspector General, Defense Criminal Investigative Service and the Army CID Major Procurement Fraud Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorney Tris Hunt is prosecuting.

Davids’ first constituent office to be in Overland Park

Sharice Davids

Sharice Davids, who was elected to the U.S. representative, 3rd District, post in November, has chosen her first office to be at 7325 W. 79th St., in a space previously occupied by Rep. Kevin Yoder.

She will keep the same office and telephone number to make it easier for constituents to find and access the help they need, according to a news release from Davids’ staff.

“My priority is to represent and serve our community,” Davids said in the news release. “Taking over this space allows my team to get up and running quickly, with little down time or disruption to people who need help from our office.”

Davids has begun the process of opening a second office in Wyandotte County, according to the news release, which says more information on it will be announced when it is completed.

Her district offices will help constituents with backlogged veterans’ benefits, Social Security and Medicare issues, stalled tax refunds, passport issues and other concerns residents may have with the federal government.

The Davids’ office in Johnson County will open at 8:30 a.m. Monday, Jan. 7, and will keep office hours of 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.