Thursday, July 24, 2014         

 Print   Email   Comment | View 17 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

Four star general with Hawaii ties investigated over spending

By Lolita C. Baldor

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 11:13 a.m. HST, Aug 15, 2012

WASHINGTON >> A four-star Army general who was the first head of the new U.S. Africa Command is under investigation and facing possible demotion for allegedly spending hundreds of thousands of dollars improperly on lavish travel, hotels and other items, The Associated Press has learned.

Gen. William "Kip" Ward has been under investigation for about 17 months, and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is expected to make a final decision on the matter before the end of the month, according to several defense officials.

The defense officials said Ward is facing numerous allegations that he spent several hundred thousand dollars allowing unauthorized people, including family members, to fly on government planes, and spent excessive amounts of money on hotel rooms, transportation and other expenses when he traveled as head of Africa Command.

A four-star general is the highest rank in the Army.

A request seeking comment from Ward was not immediately fulfilled.

Ward commanded U.S. Army troops at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii from July 1999 until November 2000, when he was promoted to a job at the Pentagon.

Panetta's options regarding Ward are limited by complex laws and military guidelines.

Panetta can demote Ward and force him to retire at a lower rank. Because Ward's alleged offenses occurred while he was a four-star general, he could be forced to retire as a three-star, which officials said could cost him as much as $1 million in retirement pay over time. It was not immediately clear whether Ward also could face criminal charges.

In order for Ward to be demoted to two-star rank, investigators would have to conclude that he also had problems prior to moving to Africa Command, and officials said that does not appear to be the case.

In making his decision, Panetta has to certify to Congress that Ward served satisfactorily at the rank at which he is retired.

Ward stepped down early last year after serving as the first head of the Europe-based Africa Command, which was created in 2007, and he intended to retire. He did all the paperwork and was hosted at a retirement ceremony in April 2011 at Fort Myer in Virginia, but the Army halted his plans to leave because of the investigation.

Ever since then, he has been working in Northern Virginia, serving as a special assistant to the vice chief of the Army.

 Print   Email   Comment | View 17 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

You must be subscribed to participate in discussions
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. Because only subscribers are allowed to comment, we have your personal information and are able to contact you. If your comments are inappropriate, you may receive a warning, and if you persist with such comments you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email commentfeedback@staradvertiser.com.
Leave a comment

Please login to leave a comment.
cojef wrote:
Too bad! Sad that his career should end in the manner described. When one reaches a certain pinnacle, he feels he can do no wrong and flaunts his position. Indicating, he got too big for his pants, and let his ego get the best of him. Feel truly sorrow for him and his family. A tragedy for sure.
on August 15,2012 | 10:31AM
1local wrote:
Has all the makings for a successful career in politics in Hawaii as a democrat...
on August 15,2012 | 11:51AM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
I'm sorry but I feel no sympathy for a man that took us out to the cleaners. You obviously have not experienced the "real" world. I am guessing that you have lived the sheltered life. Many of us have seen the corruption. Many of us have witnessed the wasteful spending and cronyism in the military. If you have seen this you wouldn't feel sorry for this man. Because you would have seen the likes of him and wanted to blow the whistle but could not because the system is broken.
on August 15,2012 | 12:02PM
nitpikker wrote:
feel sorry for him?? he knew what he was doing! nobody forced him!
on August 15,2012 | 12:04PM
HD36 wrote:
You should feel sorry for me, the average taxpayer, who's standard of living is being decreased everyday because of government overspending.
on August 15,2012 | 01:06PM
HD36 wrote:
Give the guy a break, he's only following the lead of brother Obama.
on August 15,2012 | 01:04PM
sailfish1 wrote:
If he is guilty, in addition to demotion and maybe criminal charges, make sure he pays back the money.
on August 15,2012 | 01:31PM
konakeoni99 wrote:
PFC? Bust him down to E-1 Private!!
on August 15,2012 | 01:59PM
konag43 wrote:
i wish this news paper would stop using the phares hawaii tie's. if they are not born and raised in hawaii there are no hawaii tie's.
on August 15,2012 | 02:04PM
false wrote:
false3. Agree. He has no more Hawaiian ties than I have African ties.
on August 15,2012 | 02:52PM
Anonymous wrote:
konag43, I agree that not everyone who passes through Hawaii should be described as having “Hawaii ties” but I think your criteria that a person must be “born and raised in Hawaii” is too strict. I submit for your consideration the following individuals, none of whom were both “born AND raised” in Hawaii: Frank Fasi, Al Noga, Haunani-Kay Trask, John A. Burns, Father Damien, Musashimaru, Kui Lee, Bryan Clay, Linda Lingle, Tom Selleck, W.S. Merwin, Corky Trinidad, Doris Duke, Jim Nabors, Buster Crabbe, Mazie Hirono, Russ Francis, Cec Heftel, James Michener, Henry J. Kaiser, Colt Brennan, Joe Moore, Alexander Cartwright, Mosi Tatupu, Robert Wyland, and Jack Lord.
on August 15,2012 | 05:19PM
kk808 wrote:
Good point.
on August 15,2012 | 07:10PM
HD36 wrote:
The punishment for embezzling tax payer money means you get a million less of tax payer money when you retire? In the twilight zone of the military justice system, the bottom line is,: your punishment is that you get to steal less than what you were stealing before.
on August 15,2012 | 10:18PM
LMO wrote:
I've worked for all 5 branches of the military. In every instance, I have seen high level officers retire and slip into high paying jobs, sometimes jobs created just for them. The worst was the Marine Corps. They would create jobs that officers would get, and literally do nothing, just hang around the base watching leaves grow while supposedly working on BRAC issues (there are none here in the Corps!-in KBay).
on August 16,2012 | 01:40AM
surfergirl808 wrote:
Has he no shame, is its true, as it sounds like it is (17 months watching him) he is what is wrong wit our government and system. Greed, and rules that are meant for the other people. "i deserve this attitude".
on August 16,2012 | 04:01AM
bender wrote:
I am puzzled about the rules that say they can only take certain actions against this guy. I guess the military doesn't plan to bring criminal charges which might result in a more severe punishment, incluidng dishonorable discharge and a little time in prison. You can bet if an enlisted man was accused of similar sins that he would receive all the above mentioned punishment.
on August 16,2012 | 05:46AM
hukihei wrote:
And there's more to come. It's all these retired generals pulling in the DOD contracts post retirement that drive our budget up.
on August 16,2012 | 06:22AM
Breaking News