A submarine commander who was relieved of his duties last week reportedly tried to fake his own death to end an extramarital affair.
The Day of New London reports that Navy Cmdr. Michael P. Ward II is accused by a 23-year-old Chesapeake, Va. woman of getting her pregnant, then sending her an email in July that indicated he had died.
The woman told the Day she met Ward on a dating Web site in October and he said he was separated and that he had a position in the special forces.
When the woman went to Ward’s Virginia home to deliver condolences, she learned that Ward was alive and had moved to Connecticut to be the commander of the submarine, the Day reports.
She asked the Day not to be identify her, the Day reports.
Ward, a married 43-year-old father of three, was relieved as commanding officer of the USS Pittsburgh on Friday, a week after getting the job, based on "lack of confidence in Ward's ability to command based upon allegations of personal misconduct."
"My dream job is and always has been commanding a submarine," Ward said in a news release when he took leadership of the USS Pittsburgh in early August. "This is the culmination of a dream I have had from a very young age."
Ward and the Navy declined to comment on the report, which was based on an interview with the woman, as well as copies of emails and text messages she provided the newspaper.
"Our Navy has a very clear and unambiguous standard regarding the character of our commanding officers, spelled out in the Charge of Command. I reviewed this Charge with Cmdr. Ward before he assumed command. He understood the Navy's high standards for command leadership and he failed to uphold them." Capt. Vernon Parks, commander, Submarine Development Squadron 12, said in a news release.
The Navy said it will not release details of its investigation until it is complete.
Ward entered the Navy in 1987, according to a news release from Groton. He has been reassigned to administrative duties on the staff of Commander, Submarine Group 2.
He also reported for duty as Countering Violent Extremism Branch Chief in the Joint Staff J-5 Deputy Directorate for Trans-Regional Policy.