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UPDATED: 2 Navy submarine officers found guilty of financial misconduct

By Jennifer McDermott

Publication: theday.com

Published May 14. 2012 9:00AM   Updated May 14. 2012 7:10PM

Two of the first female submariners have been found guilty of financial misconduct.

Both were charged under the Uniform Code of Military Justice and found guilty of fraud and conduct unbecoming a naval officer at a disciplinary hearing, Cmdr. Monica Rousselow, spokeswoman for the commander of the submarine force, said today.

One of the women was also found guilty of falsifying an official statement, she said.

The travel claim fraud involved about $4,500 per officer and occurred prior to the women, who are supply officers, reporting to their submarines, Rousselow said.

Rear Adm. Joseph E. Tofalo, commander of Submarine Group 10, conducted the mast at Kings Bay, Ga. The Naval Criminal Investigative Service led the investigation.

The submarine force said in March that three of the first female submariners would be taken off their submarines during an investigation into alleged financial misconduct.

The third woman later was found not to have been involved in the misconduct and she returned to her boat, Rousselow said.

The two who were found guilty were reassigned to the Naval Submarine Support Center and Trident Refit Facility Kings at Kings Bay. The Navy Personnel Command will determine whether they remain in the service, Rousselow said.

Other Navy personnel were thought to be involved in the misconduct but Rousselow could not say what happened in their cases because they are not assigned to submarines.

The women involved were not identified because of privacy laws. Typically only those in leadership positions who are involved in wrongdoing are named, Rousselow said.

An alternate who went through the training took the place of one of the women. The other will be replaced when the next group of female submariners graduates.

Rousselow said the incident had a "minimal" impact on the integration of women on submarines.

"Our feedback from the fleet continues to be that the women who are already assigned are integrating nicely and on track with their qualifications," she said.

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