It remains a dark blot on the reputation of the U.S. Navy. It was the Tail Hook scandal back in 1991 when dozens of Navy and Marine aviation officers were accused of sexually assaulting women or failing to do anything about it at a conference in Las Vegas. Lots of officers were disciplined.
But the current bribery and sex for favors scandal involving a defense contractor is hurting the Navy’s reputation again.
Just this week, two more top level Navy ship officers pleaded guilty. More than a dozen Navy officers and others in the Navy were charged in the scandal with many pleading guilty.
The scandal involved Navy brass accepting and soliciting gifts of lavish hotel rooms, drinks, meals and prostitutes in return for Fat Leonard getting lots of business.
He has pleaded guilty to bribery and defrauding the military of $35 million dollars.
Between 2006 and 2013, the defense contractor, whose real name is Leonard Francis, handed out gifts, that included sex parties for Navy personnel on at least 45 occasions according to federal court records and Navy documents.
According to the Washington Post, the list of gifts amounted to more than one million dollars in gourmet meals, liquor, cash, vacations, concert tickets, airline tickets, tailored suits, Cuban cigars, luxury watches, and lots more.
The Navy will recover from this damage to its reputation. And for all of us who live in San Diego, still known as a Navy town, we sure hope so.
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