Tuesday November 25,2014 : NAVY NUCLEAR CHIEF RESPONDS TO COUNTERFEITING ALLEGATIONS (Update)
Admiral Giardina insists that he merely found the counterfeit chips in a toilet stall at the Horseshoe.
Weekend reports based on documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act that suggested US Navy nuclear commander Tim Giardina was actually involved in forging the $500 casino chips he was caught using at the Horseshoe casino have been denied by the admiral, now transferred to a desk job in Washington.
Giardina was removed from his nuclear command post earlier this year after being caught trying to play poker with the counterfeit $500 chips, and in subsequent investigations he claimed that he had found the chips in a casino toilet stall
Following the disclosure over the weekend by the Associated Press that Giardina's DNA had allegedly been recovered from the adhesive used to forge the chips, suggesting that he may have been more closely involved in the deception, Giardina has issued a denial.
Whilst acknowledging that he played the faux chips, the admiral reprised his denial of any involvement in the counterfeiting or even knowing the chips were fakes at the time he used them, and reiterated that he stands behind a detailed written statement he submitted in April 2014 to Admiral Bill Gortney.
AP reports that in the statement, Giardina said he deeply regretted having not immediately surrendered to security officers the four chips which he said he found in a toilet stall at the Horseshoe. He said it was an “error of judgment” that he put three of the chips in play at a poker table, and said he was sorry that he subsequently lied in saying he had purchased them from a man in the bathroom.
“I should have either told the truth or remained silent instead of lying about the events when questioned” by an Iowa state investigator on 18 June 2013, he wrote.
He added: “This lapse in judgment does not make me a thief and a criminal.”
In his April 2014 statement, Giardina wrote that he suspected the chip counterfeiter left them in the bathroom stall “for a reason,” possibly to observe casino security’s reaction when the finder either turned them in or put them in play.
“I do not believe I was singled out to find them, but believe that I was a patsy for someone who wanted the chips to be found,” he claimed.