By JEFF D. GORMAN
(CN) – Claims over the leak of information on National Guard debauchery to the media belongs in Alaska, a federal judge from Washington, D.C., ruled.
The Tuesday decision transfers two cases against the U.S. Army, one by a John Doe recruiter and the other by four named members of the Alaska National Guard: John Nieves, Jarrett Carson, Joseph Lawendowski and Shannon Tallant.
They alleged that the Army leaked confidential information from investigations of them to state officials, eventually making the information available to local media.
Doe claimed that the Army retaliated against him for refusing to implicate a fellow soldier in misconduct by allowing the leak of a police report of a rape complaint, which Doe claims is unfounded.
The other four plaintiffs found their names in a leaked investigative report that they say contains false statements as well as personal information that could expose them to identity theft.
As reported by the Alaska Dispatch News, “the files describe a unit in which officers prowled the lists of new recruits for sex, routinely cheated on their wives, drank to excess, went to strip clubs, chiseled the government with their official credit cards and made a habit of making leering and demeaning comments about women, including their fellow soldiers.”
One of the investigators said Tallant, Nieves and Carson have earned the nickname “The Three-Headed Monster” because complaints about them were ignored or resulted in retaliation, according to the Alaska Dispatch News.
The Anchorage Press ran a story called “The Three-Headed Monster” about the allegations, stating that the nickname also had to do with their size. All three men stand at least 6-foot-1 and weigh 250 pounds, the paper reported.
“Carson, Nieves and Tallant, all three married at the time, habitually violated military regulations by having consensual sex with women they met in their official roles as recruiters, as well as with fellow soldiers, including subordinates,” the Press wrote.
The Army moved to transfer the federal case from D.C. to Alaska, U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper agreed Tuesday.
“Because, among other reasons, Alaska has a much closer nexus to the suits, and trying the cases in Washington, D.C., would be extremely inconvenient to the many witnesses that are likely to be involved, the court will grant the Army’s motions,” he wrote.