The Missouri National Guard has decided, after all to make public what it has done with four of its members accused of looting after the Joplin tornado.
The Guard had claimed in a St. Louis Post-Dispatch article about a week ago that it was exempt from the state’s open records law and did not have to say what discipline the four soldiers faced, generating statewide adverse publicity.
The guard now, under orders from Governor Nixon, its commander in chief, has released ten documents detailing the investigation of three Specialists and a Sergeant who were among 16 soldiers detailed to do recovery work at the demolished Wal-Mart Store.
The documents say they took some video games and a camera that were in the debris. Another Guard member turned them in. The Guard investigator says they made poor ethical decisions not consistent with Army Standards.
The documents say all four soldiers admit their actions were weong. All of the items taken were later returned. The Specialists have been demoted to Private First Class. Their Sergeant has been dropped to Specialist.
The Guard has not released their names. Spicer says that’s in keeping with the Uniform Code of Military Justice.