Following an investigation from the Naval Criminal Investigation Services into a suspicious death, a Navy commander has been fired from his post at Guantanamo Bay.
Rear Adm. Mary M. Jackson made the final decision to remove Capt. John R. Nettleton and reassign him elsewhere, citing a loss of confidence, according to a Navy press release. The Navy did not further clarify on the nature of the misconduct, nor did it indicate whether Nettleton had been charged with a crime.
While the investigation is underway, Nettleton will be moved to the Navy Region Southeast in Jacksonville, Fla., ending his career at Guantanamo Bay, where he has been stationed since June 29, 2012. During his time at the naval base in Cuba, he did not run the detention center.
The Navy declined to comment further due to the sensitive nature of the investigation. Nettleton first began his career in 1984 in the Marines, soon moving over to the Navy in 1987. His removal marks the first firing of a Navy commanding officer in 2015. In 2014, approximately two dozen were fired. Capt. Scott Gray will take over base operations in the interim until the Navy finalizes a long-term replacement.
But the story doesn’t end there. U.S. officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the case is serious and follows directly from the death of 42-year-old Guantanamo Bay employee Christopher Tur, according to The Associated Press. After Tur had been oddly absent for a day, his wife reported him missing. He was found dead in the water by the U.S. Coast Guard on Jan. 11.
What makes Tur’s death suspicious is that Nettleton apparently had an affair with Tur’s wife, said the U.S. officials, who spoke under strict anonymity because of the ongoing investigation. NCIS stumbled upon the alleged affair after a thorough investigation into Tur’s death. Navy spokeswoman Kelly Wirfel confirmed that Tur’s wife, Lara, worked as director of the Fleet and Family Services Center. It is unclear what kind of contact Wirfel had with Nettleton, or how closely they worked together, if at all. For the time being, NCIS has refused to divulge details as to how Tur died.
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