Navy academy losing leader over reports of fiscal abuse

Leaders of the U.S. Naval Academy operated a “sham” bank account as a slush fund to cover invitation-only tailgate parties at football games, happy hours and holiday gatherings, according to a report released Tuesday by the Naval inspector general.

The report “was a factor” in the premature exit of Vice Adm. Jeffrey Fowler as superintendent of the academy in Annapolis, Md. Fowler will leave in September after three years on the job, said Rear Adm. Denny Moynihan.

The superintendent faced an “administrative action” in April in response to the yearlong investigation, Moynihan said. Robert Parsons, the academy’s deputy for finance, was suspended for five days without pay. A third, unidentified official was also reprimanded.

Navy investigators, responding to a 2008 complaint, questioned dozens of expenses involving both tax dollars and money raised privately by the academy’s foundation.

According to the report, the academy spent $400,000 or more annually for academy-sponsored tailgate events over the past six years. Other expenses included $157,000 for a tractor-trailer for the football team, $3.7 million to produce a series of recruiting videos, and $325,000 for an antique airplane model that hangs at the entrance to Dahlgren Hall, a signature campus building.


Judge frees man convicted under honest services law

A judge has ordered a former North Carolina lottery commissioner convicted in 2006 on five counts of the honest services law to be released from prison.

The U.S. Supreme Court last week struck down parts of that law. The justices found fault with the anti-fraud law in the case of former Enron chief Jeffrey Skilling. Other cases also are being reviewed.

U.S. District Judge James Dever III said Tuesday that Kevin Geddings should be set free as he seeks to have his conviction vacated.

Geddings was found guilty of honest services mail fraud for hiding his financial ties to a company that was expected to bid for North Carolina’s lottery business.

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia

Elizabeth inspects flotilla as part of naval centennial

As navy officials played the Canadian national anthem, Queen Elizabeth II received a royal salute Tuesday before reviewing an international flotilla of coast guard vessels and warships as part of the Canadian navy’s 100th anniversary celebrations.

The Queen was in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on her second day of a nine-day visit to Canada, where she is the symbolic head of state. The 84-year-old monarch is visiting with her husband Prince Philip.

The fleet inspection included 28 international coast guard vessels and warships — including the USS Wasp, an imposing American assault ship.

The Queen, whose silhouette marks Canadian coins, unveiled a newly minted $1 Canadian coin Tuesday with a Halifax-class frigate on it.

She last visited Canada, a member of the British Commonwealth of former colonies, in 2005.

She will be on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on July 1, Canada Day, for the country’s 143rd birthday.

Though Canadians are somewhat indifferent to the monarchy, most have great affection for the Queen.

The trip ends on July 6 in Toronto.