Navy’s second-in-command investigated in corruption scandal forced to resign

Published time: January 15, 2014 22:25                                                                            

Robert Martinage (Navy)Robert Martinage (Navy)

The US Navy has forced the second-highest ranked civilian official to resign as a result of a growing investigation into an alleged contracting conspiracy, which revealed sexual misconduct with a subordinate officer.

Robert C. Martinage, who was acting undersecretary of the Navy,  was asked to step down by Navy Secretary Ray Mabus “following  a loss of confidence in [his] abilities to effectively perform  his duties.” The Navy announced the news Wednesday in an  official statement.

At least three senior intelligence officials who reported to  Martinage are currently under investigation for their part in  purchasing firearm silencers from a California mechanic named  Mark S. Landersman, who is related to one of the three  intelligence officials. Landersman is accused of charging the  Navy $1.6 million for the silencers, while court records indicate  the pieces cost a mere $8,000 to manufacture. The weapons parts  were intended for Navy SEAL Team 6, the military squad which  ultimately killed Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden during a raid  of his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan in 2011.

Sources told that Martinage is not thought to  have committed any crimes but may have approved the deal with the  contractor. He was asked to resign because, while investigating  any role Martinage may have had in the deal, officials discovered  that he had been engaged in an extramarital affair with a  subordinate female officer. The US Uniform Code of Military  Justice prohibits members of the service from having extramarital  sex.

The Navy undersecretary reports directly to the Secretary of the  Navy, a civilian position that oversees the entire branch of the  military service.

Martinage – who’s usual position was as Navy undersecretary for  plans, policy, oversight and integration – had been serving as  interim undersecretary after his predecessor Robert Work resigned  in May to work at a Washington think tank.

Jo Ann Rooney was due to be confirmed as the new undersecretary  before October, when Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) put a hold  on Rooney’s nomination over her position that military sexual  assault prosecutions should not leave the military chain of  command. Tom Hicks, an acting deputy undersecretary, will assume  the position until Rooney is confirmed, the Navy said.

Prosecutors investigating Martinage’s involvement in the  contracting scheme have kept much of the evidence secret,  although at a rare public hearing last week Lee M. Hall, one of  the three suspected intelligence officials, said Martinage did  indeed give his verbal approval for the purchase of the  silencers.

Attorneys told the Washington Post they have interviewed  Martinage about his role in the scheme but refused to disclose  what – if any – information he revealed.

Leonie Brinkmea, the judge presiding over the case, implied that  the government is charging Mark Landersman, the mechanic, so it  will then be easier to implicate the Navy officials.

The case just gets murkier and murkier,” he said  Friday.

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Categories: M.I.C.E.

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1 reply

  1. I am highly suspect of this. There has been screaming about this for years; and not too much has been done. So? I would question if this man was “for America vs. Obama.


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