The former commander of USS Ronald Reagan set “a wholly unethical tone of leadership” after repeatedly accepting improper gifts from a defense contractor, according to a censure from the Secretary of the Navy.
This is a part of a larger, multi-million dollar Navy bribery scheme involving Leonard Glenn Francis, nicknamed “Fat Leonard,” the former owner of Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA).
Francis pleaded guilty to bribery, conspiracy to commit bribery and defrauding the U.S. government.
Navy officials who received luxury gifts, travel or the services of prostitutes would direct Navy ships to ports with contracts to the company owned by Francis.
Rear Adm. Kenneth Norton (Ret), accepted these gifts between 2008 and 2010 while serving as the commanding officer on USS Ronald Reagan in the U.S. 7th Fleet.
Norton was found to have violated the Standards of Ethical Conduct, U.S. Navy Regulations, the Joint Ethics Regulation and the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer said in a statement, “After reviewing the findings and recommendation of the Consolidated Disposition Authority for GDMA matters, I decided that Rear Adm. (ret.) Norton’s conduct reflected improper personal behavior and set a wholly unethical tone of leadership. Censure was both necessary and appropriate.”
NBC 7 San Diego has been covering the Navy bribery investigations since they began in 2013.
As of September, 28 defendants had been charged in connection with the investigation.
The Washington Post reported, “the Navy recently confirmed that it has been reviewing the conduct of 440 other active-duty and retired personnel — including 60 current and former admirals — for possible violations of military law or federal ethics rules in their dealings with Francis and his company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia.”
The investigation into the GDMA is still being led by the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS). The United States Attorney’s Office in San Diego will be helping lead the prosecution.
Published 6 hours ago | Updated 5 hours ago