UNION GROVE, Wis. (CBS) — A supervisor is accused of using a veterans’ cemetery in southeast Wisconsin as a dumping ground.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Pat Cassidy reports, old TVs, mattresses, furniture, cans and clothing were among the discarded items found buried in the cemetery in Union Grove, Wis., 30 miles south of Milwaukee.

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LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Pat Cassidy reports

A whistleblower says the maintenance supervisor at the Southern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery was ordering employees to take holes and bury trash from his rental properties.

The supervisor has since resigned and faces charges.

Cleanup costs already total at least $37,000, not to mention some angry Wisconsin veterans, who can’t believe a state worker would desecrate a cemetery that federal officials have designated as a national shrine.

About 8,400 veterans and nearly 1,900 spouses have been laid to rest at the cemetery.

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The Associated Press reports the garbage was buried far from the nearest headstone at the 105-acre cemetery. But the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources said the cleanup contract with Veolia Environmental Services called for a front-end loader, trucks and backhoes, suggesting the amount of trash at the site was considerable.

The cemetery property buried at the site included rebar, damaged burners, tools, lawn mower blades and a 55-gallon drum, the letter said. The supervisor’s personal garbage included clothing, garden hose, pipes, television sets, aerosol cans, spray paint containers, screws, nails, insulation, turpentine cans, pesticide cans, paint thinner cans, furniture, carpeting, shingles and a mattress.

Cleanup began during the first week in August and was completed in a matter of days. The DNR is still waiting for tests on the garbage to see if any of the items qualify as hazardous materials, which could be a factor if the agency decides to bring any civil lawsuits or criminal charges.

Veterans Affairs Board Chairman Dan Naylor said he was disappointed and frustrated with the whole affair.

“The hope would be that steps would be taken to ensure this does not happen here or at other department sites in the future,” he said.

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