Democrats use public forum to examine Arizona National Guard allegations
A Democratic state lawmaker is holding a public forum Tuesday to review allegations of misconduct at the Arizona National Guard. The meeting comes after an investigation found ethical missteps and inappropriate sexual activity among guard members.
Representative Debbie McCune Davis said she called for the forum at the state capitol to review the results of an internal report that documented ethical misconduct, weaknesses in military justice and sexual activity between leaders and subordinates.
“There were 15 people who reported being sexually assaulted in association with the guard over the last 12 months. Now these 15 cases went unreported and the reason we feel they went unreported was because the guard has been historically unresponsive," McCune Davis said.
The Guard’s report verified Arizona Republic news articles that identified similar allegations. In response to the reports, Governor Jan Brewer ordered Guard leadership to develop recommendations to address the problem. Brewer’s spokesman Matt Benson said the governor welcomes the forum.
“It would be unfortunate if this is just an attempt to score political points against the governor on an issue that impacts the state of Arizona as a whole. The Arizona National Guard belongs to everybody in this state and is a concern to everybody in this state," Benson said.
Arizona National Guard Major General Hugo Salazar sent a letter to Brewer that said he “concurs with a majority of the findings in the report” but he doesn’t plan to testify at this week’s public forum.