Monday September 30,2013 : SENIOR U.S. ADMIRAL SUSPENDED FOLLOWING POKER CHIP ENQUIRY.
The second-in-command of America's nuclear capability named in counterfeit chip investigation.
In reports that almost beggar belief, US media outlets Saturday started covering allegations that a top US navy officer may be involved in a counterfeit poker chip case
Vice Admiral Tim Giardina, a thirty-year navy man and second in command of U.S. Strategic Command, was suspended from his duties earlier this month following a probe into gambling offences.
The New York Times reports that Strategic Command was first alerted about the issue in mid-July.
"A month earlier, Admiral Giardina became the target of an inquiry being conducted by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation into possible use of counterfeit gambling chips at the Horseshoe Casino in Council Bluffs, Iowa," said David Dales, the head of the Southwest division of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.
Dales said the criminality in question involved poker at the casino, but declined to furnish further information.
The agency’s investigation is still open and no state charges have been filed against Admiral Giardina, Dales emphasised.
Other publications reported that the investigation involves Giardina's suspected role in a casino scandal that involved “a significant monetary amount” of counterfeit gambling chips.
Over in the UK, The Guardian newspaper reported that two senior US officials familiar with the investigation said it was related to gambling issues. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is incomplete.
Admiral Giardina was suspended on September 3, according to a Strategic Command spokeswoman, Navy Capt. Pamela Kunze.
She said the action was only made public this weekend because Giardina remains under investigation and a recommendation that Giardina be reassigned is pending.
Air Force Gen. Robert Kehler, who heads Strategic Command, suspended the deputy commander, and has recommended to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel that Giardina be reassigned.
General Kehler was advised that the Iowa investigation of Giardina had commenced June 16, and the military authorities were advised of its initial results July 16.
General Kehler had immediately tasked the Naval Criminal Investigating Service with conducting a parallel enquiry.
Admiral Giardina, a respected former submarine officer with an impeccable military record has served in several high-ranking positions during his career.