CAMP PENDLETON — A brigadier general serving at the Marine Corps base will receive “administrative actions” for misusing his aide to perform servant-like tasks while deployed to Iraq.
Marine Corps officials confirmed Friday, July 20 that a report by the Department of Defense Inspector General substantiated allegations against Brig. Gen. Rick A. Uribe, who served as deputy commanding general and director of the Combined Joint Operations Center in Baghdad from May 2016 to June 2017.
“The chain of command has addressed the allegations through appropriate administrative actions,” said Chuck Little, a spokesman for the Marine Corps Forces Pacific. “We take all allegations of misconduct seriously.”
Uribe, who now serves as the deputy commanding general of 1 Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF), is accused of using his aide to carry out duties that were not part of the job description.
According to the report published this month, Uribe asked the aide to pick up his laundry, remove and turn in his bed sheets for cleaning, provide meals and snacks, draft his unofficial correspondence, reserve gym equipment and collect financial and personal information Uribe needed to complete military paperwork.
The report was initiated by a tip to a Department of Defense hotline on June 15, 2017. The tipster alleged Uribe permitted his aide to perform activities other than those required in the performance of official duties. An investigation was opened Aug. 4, 2017.
According to the Inspector General’s report, 23 witnesses were interviewed including Uribe, his aide, the Marine Corps Ethics Program subject matter expert, the Staff Judge Advocate to the Commandant of the Marine Corps, and several Marines deployed with Uribe and his aide in Iraq. The aide’s name was redacted in the report.
The investigation also included ethics presentations, receipts, returned checks, personnel records, official and unofficial correspondence, bank statements, and more than 4,700 official e-mails, the report said.
“We substantiated that Brigadier General Uribe permitted his officer aide-de-camp to perform activities other than those required in the performance of official duties, and that he solicited and accepted gifts from employees who received less pay than himself,” a summary of the 40-plus page report said.
The report also found that Uribe accepted gifts, chocolates and loans from subordinates totaling about $782.
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Efforts to get a comment from Uribe were unsuccessful, but Major Rachel Nolan with the 1 MEF said Uribe has “made a personal choice to voluntarily provide repayment in order to address concerns of any perception of impropriety raised by the report.”
Uribe remains in his command at Camp Pendleton.
Military officials did not elaborate on the “administrative actions” taken.
“Administrative actions are not criminal actions and therefore service members, even senior officers, are afforded the protections of the Privacy Act of 1974,” Little said.
Source: OC Register