Two senior Admirals have now found themselves under the searing spotlight of a high profile criminal investigation that has already led to the arrest of two U.S. Navy Commanders, a Navy Criminal Investigator, and the firing of a Navy Captain. The U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) investigation is focused on getting to the bottom of a complex and lengthy scheme involving U.S. Navy officials who allegedly collaborated with, accepted bribes, and released classified ship movement information to Singapore-based port contractor Glenn Defense Marine. This lengthy, and well-orchestrated scheme that has cost U.S. taxpayers millions of dollars and left members of the military and government appalled.
In an announcement late on Friday, the U.S. Navy suspended access to classified material for Vice Admiral Ted Branch, Director of Naval Intelligence and Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Dominance (OPNAV N2/N6), and Rear Admiral Bruce Loveless, Director of Intelligence Operations.
Rear Admiral Kirby, the U.S. Navy’s top-ranked public affairs officer notes in a statement, “The decision to suspend their classified access was made based upon the nature of allegations against Admirals Branch and Loveless in connection with an ongoing Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) investigation into illegal and improper relations with Leonard Francis, CEO of Glenn Defense Marine.”
The allegations against Admirals Branch and Loveless involve inappropriate conduct prior to their current assignments and flag officer rank. The Navy notes there is no indication, nor do the allegations suggest, that in either case there was any breach of classified information.
“It is important to note that allegations are just that, allegations,” says Kirby. “Neither officer has been charged with any crime or violation. Both men retain their rank and security clearances.”
They are on temporary leave pending outcome of the investigation. according to the Navy statement.