Another Shot for Marine Ousted Out of Benefits

     (CN) – A Marine major who was discharged for adultery three days before eligibility for retirement benefits deserves another look, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims ruled.
     Richard Williams began serving as an officer in 1985.
     During his career, Williams received a nonjudicial punishment in 1999 for using his work computer to view pornography. He did the same in 2002 and was also cited for lying to an investigative officer about the incident.
     In 2004, he had an affair with a Marine captain, who was his subordinate and the wife of a Marine captain in his unit. He also lied about the affair in an official statement.
     Williams was convicted by a court-martial of adultery and conduct unbecoming of an officer and a gentleman. He was discharged in 2005.
     The Board of Corrections of Naval Records rejected Williams’ claims that the Board of Inquiry rushed his case to separate him from the Marines before his reached his 20-year retirement benchmark.
     Williams took the case to the Court of Federal Claims, claiming that the board failed to correct errors in his military record under the Military Pay Act and the Tucker Act.
     He also asked for three days of back pay and his retirement benefits, arguing that he was not treated similarly to other officers convicted of similar offenses.
     Judge Victor Wolski remanded the case for reconsideration last week, calling the board’s ruling “conclusory” and “superficial.”
     The board must explain the meaning of the phrase “basis for processing” as it relates to whether conduct more than five years old should have been considered in Williams’ separation case, according to the ruling.
     Another factor the board must consider is whether Williams falling three days short of retirement was “so inconsistent with the usual practice in similar cases as to consitute injustice,” Wolski said.

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