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Seabee commander accused of DUI, fired

Aug. 30, 2012 - 04:44PM   |   Last Updated: Aug. 30, 2012 - 04:44PM  |  
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The commander of a Seabee battalion was fired Aug. 21 after allegations of drunken driving.

Cmdr. Franklin Fernandez, a reservist, was relieved as commanding officer of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 24 because of "a loss of confidence in his ability to command," according to a Navy news release.

Fernandez was fired by Capt. Roger Motzko, commodore of the 3rd Naval Construction Regiment.

Early on the morning of Aug. 16, Fernandez was cited by police at Redstone Arsenal, Ala., for allegedly driving under the influence, the Navy reported.

Due to a nonjudicial punishment proceeding scheduled in September, the Navy would not speak to the details of the citation, and would not say whether Fernandez was involved in an accident. Fernandez could not be located for comment.

Until a permanent replacement is named, Lt. Cmdr. Ronald Jenkins, the chief staff officer at the 3rd Naval Construction Regiment, will serve as the battalion's CO.

Fernandez is the 14th skipper http://www.navytimes.com/links/co_firings">fired this year. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus has cited the number of COs fired for alcohol-related offenses as an indication of an alcohol problem within the service. Of the 20 COs fired last year, alcohol was a factor in 13 cases.

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