Two-star gen­eral de­moted af­ter an a≠air

The Denver Post - - NATION & WORLD - By Lolita C. Bal­dor

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.

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