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Old 06-09-14, 16:17   #1
 
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Green Arrow Alaska National Guard General Resigns=Sex Assaults

Alaska National Guard General Resigns After Report on Sexual Assaults

POSTED: ktuu Sep 06, 2014




Blake Essig/KTUU-TV

ANCHORAGE - A top Alaska National Guard officer has resigned after a military report on a series of sexual assaults in the Alaska National Guard, which Gov. Sean Parnell released Thursday afternoon.
Parnell, speaking at the Atwood Building in Downtown Anchorage, says he requested and received Adjutant Gen. Thomas Katkus's resignation in response to the report's findings.


The 57-page report by the National Guard Bureau’s Office of Complex Investigations (PDF) corroborates a number of claims made by current and former Guard members. It also cites a lack of any formal mechanism for civilian investigation of state Guard sexual assaults, as well as poor leadership and oversight of the state Guard's equal-employment programs.

“The (Alaska National Guard’s) sexual assault prevention and response program is well-organized, but victims do not trust the system due to an overall lack of confidence in the command,” Guard officials wrote. “Actual and perceived favoritism, ethical misconduct, and fear of reprisal are eroding trust and confidence in (state Guard) leadership.”

The report was written after suggestions from several lawmakers, including state Sen. Hollis French as well as U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich, that Parnell ask the National Guard to investigate assaults from 2008 to 2012. Since 2009, state Guardsmen say 29 sexual-assault cases have been reported involving the force, with 18 military and 11 civilian victims.

In his Feb. 28 letter to Gen. Frank Grass, chief of the National Guard Bureau, Parnell expressed concern about reports of the assaults as well as “a hostile environment and culture within portions of the Alaska National Guard.” He also specifically asked for a military look at ANG “training, reporting, investigating and case dispensation practices” which civilian law enforcement agencies had declined to examine.

The report also found evidence of unrelated fraudulent activity, including “embezzlement of money from a (Guard) family programs account and misuse of government equipment for personal gain.” The report says Parnell requested a separate investigation into those matters on Aug. 27.
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