Pentagon finds claims up for top officers

Oct. 29, 2012 at 11:21 AM
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 29 (UPI) -- Investigations of alleged wrongdoing by senior U.S. military officers by the Defense Department could exceed last year's total, Pentagon officials say.

In 2011, the department's inspector general reviewed 38 cases and substantiated accusations in nearly 40 percent of them, up from 21 percent in 2007, The Washington Post reported Sunday.

In one of the most recent cases this year, Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair, the former deputy commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, was charged in May with multiple offenses, including forcible sodomy, wrongful sexual conduct and misusing a government credit card.

He is due to appear in a military proceeding Nov. 5 that will determine if there is sufficient evidence to court-martial him.

A June report by the inspector general found another commander, Gen. William Ward, misused tens of thousands of tax dollars, used staff to run personal errands and violated rules about accepting gifts from contractors.

Ward, a four-star general, has been relieved of duty as chief of Africa Command until the charges are resolved. He has rejected many of the inspector general's findings.

Lt. Gen. Patrick J. O'Reilly has retained his position as commander of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, at least for now, despite an IG report that documented allegations his abrasive and verbally abusive manner had created low morale and a climate of fear amongst his subordinates.

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