Navy censures admiral in ‘Fat Leonard’ case
The Navy announced Wednesday that it has censured a retired admiral for personal misbehavior and accepting illicit gifts in the “Fat Leonard” corruption case.
Kenneth Norton, who retired in December 2014, is the fourth admiral in the case to receive a letter of censure, or a formal rebuke. In a statement, the Navy said a review determined that Norton had “demonstrated exceedingly poor judgment and leadership” and had “brought illrepute and disgrace upon the U.S. Navy.”
The Navy said Norton improperly accepted gifts from Glenn Defense Marine Asia, a Singapore-based contracting firm headed by Leonard Glenn Francis, known within maritime circles as “Fat Leonard” because of his 6-foot 3-inch, 350-pound frame. Francis has pleaded guilty in a long-running corruption investigation to bribing Navy personnel and overcharging the Navy by more than $35 million to resupply U.S. vessels in Asia.
Two admirals in the case have been charged with federal crimes by the Justice Department. In addition, about 60 admirals have come under investigation for possible violations of military law or federal ethics rules in their dealings with Francis, who was legendary within the Navy for entertaining officers with wildly expensive dinners and allnight parties featuring prostitutes.
Navy officials disclosed few details about Norton’s misconduct but said it dated to his service as the commanding officer of the USS Ronald Reagan, an aircraft carrier, between 2008 and 2010.