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The Navy has fired the commanding officer, command master chief and five other chiefs aboard the Norfolk, Va.-based destroyer James E. Williams, according to a news release sent Friday.
The removals were connected with several reports of fraternization within the command involving senior and junior sailors, according to the release. It also said there are separate investigations pending on sexual assault allegations leading to an Article 32 investigation, but no further details were available.
Removed were Cmdr. Paul Marquis and Command Master Chief (SW/AW) Timothy Youell. A Navy spokesman said five other male chiefs received nonjudicial punishment, along with four female petty officers. The five chiefs are being processed for administrative separation from the Navy.
"Such a large number of fraternization cases in one command is a clear indication of a leadership failure," Adm. John Harvey, head of Fleet Forces Command, said in the statement.
Marquis was replaced by Cmdr. Anthony Linardi. The ship's executive officer, Cmdr. Daniel Sunvold, has been reassigned as XO of the destroyer Bainbridge. He was not involved in the allegations, the spokesman said.
"By reassigning him, the Navy is providing both James E. Williams and Cmdr. Sunvold the opportunity for a fresh start, with a new leadership team."