Local News

Former NC National Guard leader sued over hacked email

Posted July 18, 2011 3:07 p.m. EDT

— A former colonel in the North Carolina Army National Guard has sued two former officers, accusing them of illegally monitoring his email while he was deployed overseas.

Fred Aikens is seeking unspecified damages in the federal lawsuit against William Ingram, former adjutant general of the N.C. National Guard, and former Lt. Col. Peter Von Jess. He claims they invaded his privacy and violated his civil rights.

Aikens alleges in the suit that Ingram was out to discredit him after he complained to the Department of the Army Inspector General that Ingram interfered with his performance evaluation of Von Jess.

After Aikens' unit deployed to Kuwait in 2003, the suit alleges, Ingram ordered two soldiers to intercept Aikens' emails and forward them to Von Jess. Ingram later sent copies of the messages to Aikens' commanders in Kuwait in an effort to substantiate various allegations, the suit states.

The Army Inspector General used the emails in its investigation of Aikens for inappropriate relations with women and a hostile command climate, the suit states.

Aikens retired from the National Guard in June 2005, about the same time that the investigation substantiated the allegations against him, according to the lawsuit.

Former Maj. David Culbreth sued the National Guard six years ago over the intercepted email.

He was dismissed from service based on comments he made in an email he sent from his personal computer to Aikens in Kuwait.