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One year in prison for Army officer who received illegal gratuity

Post by Scott Fontaine on Oct. 31, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
October 31, 2008 2:38 pm

My colleague, Adam Lynn, was at U.S. District Court in Tacoma today and reported on the sentencing of Cedar Lanmon, an Army captain who pleaded guilty to one count of accepting illegal gratuities. Prosecutors say he accepted $25,000 from an Albanian entrepreneur hoping to land work for the military in Iraq.

From the story:

Lanmon declined an opportunity to speak before his sentencing, but in an 11-page letter submitted to the judge he attempted to explain his conduct.

Operating in a war zone and a foreign culture muddled his thinking, Lanmon wrote. In addition to getting involved in business dealings that risked his Army commission, he cheated on his wife with a civilian contractor, he wrote.

“Psychologists call it cognitive dissonance when actions fall short or are in contravention to a person’s moral compass,” Lanmon said in the letter. “Combat does funny things to your mind. The only way I found to operate effectively was to assume that I would be dead tomorrow.”

His wife reported his business dealings to Army criminal investigators when Lanmon brought his then-pregnant girlfriend home with him from Iraq, according to court documents.

Lanmon wrote in his letter that he is ashamed of his actions.

“I feel I have shamed the very country that I fought (for) and vowed to defend,” he said. “I have shamed the officers and mentors who over the years have put their trust and confidence in me. I have tarnished my family’s name.”

Find the rest of it here.

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