Two-star general demoted after an a≠air
An Army major general has been stripped of his stars and forced out of the military after a 30-year military career because of a long extramarital affair and “swinger” lifestyle.
An Army spokesman said Maj. Gen. David Haight was demoted by three steps to the rank of lieutenant colonel, a steep and rare downgrade for a senior officer.
The demotion will cost him more than $40,000 in annual retirement pay, based on pay scales for a lieutenant colonel and a two-star general with 30 years in the Army. And it slams the door on what was once a promising career.
Army Secretary Eric Fanning approved the board’s recommendation and made the final decision. The spokesman was not authorized to discuss the matter, so he spoke anonymously.
An Army inspector general investigation concluded that Haight had an inappropriate sexual relationship with a woman who was not his wife, and that he misused government resources, including a cellphone and computer, for a “high volume” of personal calls and e-mails.
A demotion of three grades is unusual, and is based on Army regulations that require a three-member board to determine an officer’s retirement rank when the person has been found guilty of misconduct. The board had to decide whether Haight served satisfactorily in his current rank, and if not, he could be demoted to the last rank in which his service would be considered satisfactory.
The demotion suggests that the board concluded that Haight’s misconduct was serious enough to make retirement at the more senior grades impossible.
The investigation was triggered by anonymous complaints sent to then-Gen. Philip Breedlove, who was the top U.S. general for NATO, and to the Army and Defense Department inspectors general.