- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 25, 2003

DENVER, March 25 (UPI) — Four of the top officers at the Air Force Academy will be removed from their posts and reassigned in the wake of a sexual-assault scandal at the academy, the Denver Post reported Tuesday.

Lt. Gen. John R. Dallager, the superintendent, will retain his post until his scheduled retirement in June, according to sources quoted by the Post. Brig. Gen. S. Taco Gilbert III, the commandant of cadets; Col. Steve Eddy, vice superintendent; Col. Bob Eskridge, vice commander; and Col. Sue Slavec, training group commander, will be removed, the newspaper said.

The changes at the academy are expected to be formally announced Wednesday by the Air Force, along with other changes in policies and procedures.

Sen. Wayne Allard, R-Colo., had earlier said that problems at the academy preceded the current leadership but he now supports the changes.

"People would be willing to talk if we got out the command structure," Allard said. "There's a decided reluctance to talk. If we get the higher command out, it will make the investigation go a little easier."

Allard and Sen. John Warner, R-Va., have written Air Force Secretary James Roche recommending that a woman be placed in charge of the academy at Colorado Springs.

The Air Force has reported 56 sexual-assault incidents at the academy in the last decade. The victims have charged that they were discouraged from reporting the incidents and often reprimanded or intimidated when they did file reports.

Several investigations are under way at the academy. A three-person team from the Department of Defense inspector general's office will arrive this week to review individual cases.

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