NCIS investigates deputy chief of nuclear command
By The Associated Press
Published: Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013, 6:09 p.m.
WASHINGTON — The No. 2 officer at the military command in charge of all U.S. nuclear war-fighting forces is suspected in a case involving counterfeit gambling chips at a western Iowa casino and has been suspended from his duties, officials said.
Navy Vice Adm. Tim Giardina has not been arrested or charged, Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation special agent David Dales said on Saturday. The state investigation is ongoing.
Giardina, deputy commander at Strategic Command, was suspended on Sept. 3 and is under investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, a Strategic Command spokeswoman said.
The highly unusual action against a high-ranking officer at Strategic Command was made more than three weeks ago but not publicly announced. The command is located at Offutt Air Force Base near Omaha, Neb.
Air Force Gen. Robert Kehler, who heads Strategic Command, suspended Giardina, according to the command's top spokeswoman, Navy Capt. Pamela Kunze.
Giardina remains assigned to the command but is prohibited from performing duties related to nuclear weapons and other issues requiring a security clearance, she said.
Kehler has recommended to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel that Giardina be reassigned. Giardina has been the deputy commander of Strategic Command since December 2011. He is a career submarine officer and prior to starting his assignment there was the deputy commander and chief of staff at Pacific Fleet.
DCI agents stationed at the Horseshoe Casino in Council Bluffs, Iowa, discovered the counterfeit chips, Dales said. He would not say when the discovery was made or how much in counterfeit chips was found, only that “it was a significant monetary amount.”
Council Bluffs is across the Missouri River from Omaha.
“We were able to detect this one pretty quickly and jump on it,” Dales said. He declined to give specifics on how authorities determined that casino chips had been counterfeited or how Giardina might have been involved.
Strategic Command oversees the military's nuclear fighter units, including the Navy's nuclear-armed submarines and the Air Force's nuclear bombers and nuclear land-based missiles.
Kunze said Strategic Command did not announce the suspension because Giardina is under investigation and action on Kehler's recommendation that Giardina be reassigned is pending. The suspension was first reported by the Omaha World-Herald.
A law enforcement investigation of Giardina began June 16, the same day Kehler became aware of the situation.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Kansas public school funding unconstitutional
- ‘Holy grail of guitars’ for sale in April auction
- Deputy accused of illegal stops
- Miranda read to sex assault accuser, 14
- Nuke plant safety improving, watchdog says — with cautions
- Border Patrol ordered to stop shooting at vehicles
- El Nino could bring relief to U.S.
- California man named as bitcoin creator denies involvement
- Accuser takes stand during court-martial
- Instances of illnesses found to vary greatly by insurer
- Shutdown cost national parks at least $414M