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IG: Weirick did not face reprisal from Marine brass

Jun. 13, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
James Weirick
James Weirick ()
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The Defense Department inspector general did not substantiate the claims of a Marine major who filed a reprisal complaint after he was removed from his job following his criticism of how the Corps’ top leaders were handling the now infamous scout sniper case.

Maj. James Weirick complained to members of Congress about the commandant and his advisers, whom he alleged exerted undue command influence in the case of Marine snipers who took video of themselves urinating on Taliban corpses.

Following an unusual, some would say bizarre, email to Peter Delorier, a former civilian legal adviser to Commandant Gen. Jim Amos, in which Weirick urged Delorier to be “honest and truthful,” Weirick was ousted from his job and slapped with a restraining order — Weirick immediately responded with a formal reprisal complaint to the IG.

In a report issued June 12, Weirick was informed that the DoD IG did not substantiate his complaint that he was removed from his job as a staff judge advocate at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, for communicating with members of Congress as a whistleblower. The IG also investigated Weirick’s complaints that he was hit with the restraining order, directed to turn in privately owned weapons and faced a mental health examination after sending the strongly worded email to Delorier.

The IG found that while Weirick faced multiple unfavorable personnel actions, he was not removed from his job as an act of reprisal.

His communication with members of Congress was not restricted, the report states. And Lt. Gen. Kenneth Glueck, Weirick’s commanding general and head of Marine Corps Combat Development Command, ultimately lost faith and confidence in the staff judge advocate after the email was sent to Delorier.

For those reasons, the mental health examination, the restraining order and the recommendation to turn in weapons were warranted, the report states.

Glueck wanted Weirick “out of the building” following his email to Delorier, the report states. A Marine official, whose name is redacted from the report, said Weirick’s decision to send the email to the commandant’s legal adviser was “a breach of trust and confidence of his ability to perform credibly as a deputy staff judge advocate.” Concerns about the timing of the email, which was sent shortly after a gunman killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard, were noted several times in the report.

Weirick told Marine Corps Times that he questions the rigor of the IG’s investigation. He said the report noted numerous times that there were no “similar situated employees whose treatment could be compared” to that which Weirick received, but Col. Daren Margolin was removed from his post as commanding officer of Quantico’s Security Battalion in October 2013 after he accidentally discharged his M9 handgun in his office.

“Two weeks after my email, a senior Marine officer fired an unauthorized firearm in his office,” Weirick said. “He was not subjected to the same humiliating conditions I suffered. Additionally, he was elevated to chief of staff at the same command, in the same building, from which I was banned. It is inconceivable that this does not amount to disparate treatment to the retaliation I endured.”

According to the report, a Marine redacted official, whose name was redacted, who sent an email to Glueck stating that Weirick appeared “unbalanced” and “crossed a line” with the note to Delorier.

“I suspect his threats were more along the lines of implicating Pete Delorier in more accusations of scandal, [unlawful command influence] and other fodder for the Marine Times,” the unnamed official wrote to Glueck. “Nonetheless they are threats and need to be taken seriously.”

When asked about the report, Col. Dave Lapan, a spokesman for the commandant, said the report spoke for itself and the commandant’s office would have no further comment.

The IG is reportedly still investigating Weirick’s allegation that Amos removed Lt. Gen. Thomas Walhauser from overseeing the prosecution of the scout sniper cases when it became evident Waldhauser didn’t plan to punish them harshly enough.

Amos has denied saying he wanted the Marines in the video “crushed” and kicked out of the service, despite the three-star’s sworn statement to the contrary.

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