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Top lawyer may face charges

Wed., Dec. 8, 2004

WASHINGTON – A military investigation has concluded that the Air Force’s top lawyer engaged in improper relationships with more than a dozen women over the last decade, two Defense Department officials familiar with the findings said.

While overseeing the work of 3,200 people, Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Fiscus, the Air Force judge advocate general, allegedly conducted affairs with enlisted women, officers and civilian employees in violation of military rules against fraternization, the officials said.

Fiscus’ pattern of behavior, one official said, was to seek to develop a relationship, but to back off quickly if his advances were rejected. Thus the few incidents that do not involve consensual behavior tend to be minor, one-time instances of inappropriate touching, such as a kiss given on the lips when a cheek was offered in greeting, the official said.

Charges against Fiscus could be made as early as Wednesday, the officials said. Defense officials and others in the Air Force legal community expect that Fiscus, if found guilty, likely would be drummed out of the ranks of general officers by being demoted at least two ranks and retired as a colonel.

If he pleads guilty or is found guilty at court-martial, Fiscus would be the first judge advocate general relieved for improper conduct, a Pentagon official said.

Almost all the alleged activities – with enlisted women, officers and civilian employees of the military – were consensual, but still appear to have violated rules and guidelines against fraternization with subordinates, one official said.

Fiscus’ lawyer did not return calls Tuesday seeking comment.


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