U.S. admiral guilty in ethics, adultery case Scudi gets house arrest and reduction in pension

December 03, 1998|By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

WASHINGTON -- A one-star Navy admiral accepted a finding of guilt yesterday on charges that he improperly steered military contracts to his partner in an adulterous affair. He agreed to early retirement at a substantially reduced pension and to penalties that included 30 days of house arrest, Navy officials said.

The officer, Rear Adm. John Scudi, 54, effectively pleaded no contest to the charges at a closed administrative hearing in Norfolk, Va., which was a less severe alternative to a criminal investigation and precluded any court-martial or prison sentence.

The disposition of Scudi's case through administrative means, as opposed to criminal proceedings, allowed the Navy to bring a quick, quiet end to a matter that might have caused sustained embarrassment and scrutiny.

The accusations against Scudi, a Naval Academy graduate who had served in the Navy for more than 30 years, followed a string of high-profile adultery cases in the military and debates over its handling of accusations of adultery.

Experts on military justice and Navy officials who spoke on condition of anonymity said Scudi's punishment was more severe than that meted out to most officers accused of adultery. They said the Navy was sending a signal that it did not coddle high-ranking officers accused of ethical violations.

Cmdr. John Singley, a Navy spokesman, said Scudi's agreement to request retirement at the rank of captain as opposed to admiral would cut Scudi's annual pension from $77,940 to $60,240.

Pub Date: 12/03/98

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