Army disciplines ex-Bragg officer who made sexual references about Ellmers
Posted January 28, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. — The Army has disciplined a former Fort Bragg commander who, after meeting 2nd District Congresswoman Renee Ellmers in 2011, sent emails to other officers jokingly referring to sexual acts.
The Washington Post reported the action in a Sunday story that also detailed investigations into misconduct by other high-ranking military officers. The newspapers obtained the files through a Freedom of Information Act request.
The Army came across a "raunchy exchange" in March 2011 emails between then-Col. Martin Schweitzer, deputy commander for operations for the 82nd Airborne Division, and Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair, according to the Post, when prosecutors were reviewing Sinclair's emails as they prepared for his court-martial. Sinclair is expected to go on trial in March on charges that he twice sexually assaulted a captain with whom he had a three-year affair and that he had inappropriate relationships with five other women, including some subordinates.
Schweitzer started the email exchange shortly after meeting with Ellmers, who had taken office two months earlier and visited Fort Bragg to discuss military issues. The 2nd District includes the Army post.
Schweitzer called Ellmers "smoking hot" in the email to Sinclair and 82nd Airborne Division commander Maj. Gen. James Huggins. Sinclair and Schweitzer then exchanged lewd comments in subsequent emails, according to the Post.
The Post said the Army had redacted Ellmers' name and her position in Congress from the emails it provided, but the newspaper obtained an uncensored copy from another source. The Army also completely redacted "the most offensive email" in the exchange, the newspaper reported.
Ellmers said in a statement that Gen. John Campbell, Army vice chief of staff, informed her this month about the comments and the discipline taken against Schweitzer, now a brigadier general.
"Gen. Campbell provided me with documents that show references made about me and without my knowledge by this individual, and the content was entirely inappropriate of the commanders who are tapped with leading the men and women under their command," she said. "I am pleased with the corrective actions that are taking place and how they handled this very difficult situation."