The Inspector General of the Army sent a letter to U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski on Wednesday concluding that Alaska’s National Guard Adjutant General Tom Katkus and other Alaska National Guard officials followed protocol in dealing with allegations of sexual assault in the Guard.
The IG “did not identify concerns regarding sexual assault or sexual harassment reporting,” and Guard officials “did not cover up any reported sexual assault incidents.” The Department of Defense concurred. (Read the letter here.)
The letter said that the Guard had received reports of 11 alleged assaults and that it “promptly coordinated referrals of all incidents to Alaska law enforcement officials,” as protocol dictates. The letter says that Katkus took action in “only two cases upon which he could act.” One person was discharged as a result. Katkus “initiated the subject’s separation,” in the other.
Last June, Sen. Lisa Murkowski asked the Department of Defense inspector general to investigate after Guard chaplains had asked her to look into sexual harassment and assault in the Guard. The chaplains had also spoken to Gov. Sean Parnell, and later state Sen. Fred Dyson and independent gubernatorial candidate Bill Walker.
The letter was released by her office. However, the full report has not yet been released.
In recent months, allegations of sexual abuse in the Guard have swirled. Gov. Sean Parnell has asked another federal investigative arm of the Guard to look into the allegations. That report is expected to be forthcoming in the fall.
Here’s a statement by Murkowski on the IG letter she received on Wednesday.
Last June, two Alaska Army National Guard Chaplains asked me to look into some troubling allegations that the Adjutant General and other senior leaders were turning a blind eye towards the possibility of sexual assault within the National Guard. I immediately relayed their concern in a letter to the Department of Defense Inspector General, calling for a review. The allegations were then forwarded to the Army Inspector General, who investigated them and informed my office that the accusations could not be substantiated following a diligent investigation including extensive interviews.
The Defense Department Inspector General reviewed and concurred with the Inspector General’s conclusion. My office has not received the full investigation report, so I am withholding from further comments until the Army provides it and I have the opportunity to fully review it.