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The landlord who evicted a hospitalized soldier, and was accused of selling and trashing the soldier's belongings, has returned nearly all of the property to the soldier's mother, he says.
Tommy Atha said he has fulfilled his promise to return the belongings of Sgt. Mark Porrazzo of Fort Hood, Texas. Atha came under fire after Porrazzo's platoon leader posted an open letter about the situation on the pro-soldier http://guardianofvalor.com/">Guardian of Valor website.
"We could have sold everything in there, but I have never done that with any of my tenants, and I will not do that with any of my tenants," Atha, a retired Marine, said in an interview with Army Times on Thursday. "I maintained his privacy and I maintained his goods."
The soldier's mother, Jeanne Malloy, speaking from Atha's office during the same interview, told Army Times she is in possession of her son's clothing, furniture and his other property after meeting with Atha.
"I came to Killeen to take care of my son's business," Malloy, of Reno, Nev., told Army Times. "I just have to go collect his things and they will be releasing them to me."
Mark Porrazzo, 32, of 31st Chemical Company, 2nd Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear Battalion, was on a training exercise with his unit at Yakima Training Center, Wash., when he was hospitalized in May, his platoon leader told Army Times in August.
Porrazzo, a 15-year Army veteran who has been deployed to Iraq four times, was initially hospitalized at Madigan Army Medical Center at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., for reasons his family has asked to keep private. Porrazzo was then transferred to Darnall Army Medical Center at Fort Hood.
But Atha said he and his employees at Town Line Properties did not know Porrazzo had been hospitalized until a month after the eviction was completed.
"At that time, we had no idea he was hospitalized, or where, and what he was doing," Atha said. "We were not given information from the Army even though we had requested it."
Atha said he provided all of Porrazzo's firearms that Town Line recovered to the Killeen, Texas, police department, including a .50-caliber sniper rifle. Malloy said she is planning to retrieve them.
Atha has maintained that he has been the victim of false allegations and threats since the eviction was made public. Now, he hopes the harassment of him and his employees will end.
"I can't explain how much it's hurt us," Atha said. "After this went viral … we took 500 to 600 [calls] per day, and I had to keep my staff on that."