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Tuesday, July 23, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Cadet’s Cocaine Use Will Cost His Family $143K

WASHINGTON (CN) - A former West Point cadet booted from the Army academy after testing positive for cocaine cannot upgrade his discharge status and still owes more than $143,000 in education costs, a federal judge ruled.

Troy Wilson sued Secretary of the Army John McHugh last year, seeking a review of his "other than honorable" discharge that required him to repay $143,021 in education costs.

Wilson, a stand-out cadet who tested positive for cocaine in 2007, opted to resign from West Point after being threatened with court-martial. Later, the Army Board for Correction of Military Records (ABCMR) denied his appeal to be commissioned as an officer, receive back pay and have his discharge upgraded from "other than honorable." The board also declined to wipe out Wilson's debt and remove a press release describing the charges against him from West Point's website.

"The court finds that because he voluntarily resigned instead of contesting the charge leveled against him in a court-martial, Wilson cannot challenge the underlying evidence in this forum," U.S. District Judge James Boasberg wrote.

The Thursday decision saddles Wilson with $143,021 in debt because he left the academy for misconduct.

"Although it is unfortunate that 'a young adult without a college degree and his family are burdened with a $143,021 debt that will undoubtedly impose a substantial hardship on them,' ... that is not cause to overturn as arbitrary and capricious the ABCMR's judgment," Boasberg wrote.

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