Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Investigation confirms misconduct; McCune Davis renews call for public hearing on Arizona National Guard report

Investigation confirms misconduct; McCune Davis renews call for public hearing on Arizona National Guard report

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – After reviewing a report from the National Guard Bureau confirming shocking incidents of misconduct within the Arizona National Guard, Rep. Debbie McCune Davis, D-Phoenix (District 30), is renewing her call for a public hearing to review the report’s findings.

“This report confirms many of the troubling accusations involving some members of the Arizona National Guard uncovered by the Arizona Republic.  The investigation reveals a culture of corruption that did little to prevent, and at times actively covered up, abusive, unethical and criminal behavior,” McCune Davis said. “The public must have an opportunity to review and to comment on this report.”

McCune Davis said the report, which was submitted to the governor’s office in April, illustrates that the problems with the Arizona National Guard are deeply rooted. She said the report includes the results of a survey of 2,176 members of the Arizona National Guard. The survey showed that 15 people were victims of sexual assaults in the last 12 months. It is undeniable that this happened while Maj. Gen. Hugo Salazar was in command.

She added that the report indicated that when victims did come forward to report mistreatment or crimes, they were sometimes told to be more resilient or to be tougher and complain less.

“The investigation uncovered a prevailing sentiment from those who did come forward,” McCune Davis said.  “Many of them said they were victimized twice – once by the perpetrator and then again by some of the leadership who were unable to help or uninterested in helping the victim. The inaction from Arizona National Guard leadership caused additional harm and all of this occurred under Maj. Gen. Salazar’s watch.”
She noted that the Guard’s adjutant general, Maj. Gen. Salazar, has been in command since 2008.

“The governor asked Maj. Gen. Salazar to submit a remediation plan this week. He’s had plenty of time to correct issues within the Arizona National Guard,” McCune Davis said. “I’m not confident that giving him the task to create a correction plan now is in the best interest of our National Guard, especially since the report shows that Maj. Gen. Salazar acknowledged the issues with ethical leadership but did not rectify them. It also shows there were documented cases of abuse of position, fraud, attempts to falsify documents, and cover ups. ”

Today McCune Davis again called on Sen. Al Melvin, R-Tucson (District 11), chairman of the Senate Commerce, Energy and Military Committee, and Rep. Justin Pierce, R-Mesa (District 25), chairman of the House Public Safety, Military and Regulatory Affairs Committee, to conduct a public hearing on the Arizona National Guard report.

“All Arizonans, as well as all Arizona National Guard members deserve an organization that operates at the highest level of integrity,” McCune Davis said. “We owe it to them to ensure that the remediation process is fair, thorough and public.”


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