May 30, 1997 in Nation/World

General Ousted Over Relationship Leader Of Medical Operations In Southeast Linked To Nurse

Associated Press
 

A general in’ charge of the Army’s medical operations in the Southeast was relieved of his duties Thursday over what one official said was an “improper relationship” with a civilian nurse.

The army’s surgeon general ordered that Brig. Gen. Stephen Xenakis be relieved of his command at the Eisenhower Army Medical Center at Fort Gordon, Ga., Lt. Col. Bill Harkey, an Army spokesman said Thursday night.

Harkey refused to give any reason for the decision by the Army’s top medical officer, Lt. Gen. Ronald Blanck, but noted that Blanck had suspended Xenakis on May 12.

A Pentagon official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Xenakis, a psychiatrist, was relieved because of an “improper relationship” with a civilian nurse who had ben carrying for his ill wife.

“There is a further investigation ongoing,” the official said, noting that Xenakis has not been charged with any criminal offense. The official declined to specify any other administrative actions taken against Xenakis, citing the Privacy Act.

In an interview earlier this month with The Augusta Chronicle in Georgia, Xenakis appeared to challenge allegations behind his suspension.

“I’d tell them not to make any assumptions about that,” the newspaper quoted him as saying. “In fairness to me, and particularly to Eisenhower hospital and all the people there, it would be best to just minimize speculation.”

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