Mark S. Zaid, Esq.
(202) 785-3801


Additional Punishment Will Result In Loss of More Than $500,000 In Pension; Army Continues To Deny Hale's Victim Reimbursement For Defending Her Charges


The United States Army today will announce at a 1 P.M. press conference that a three member panel comprised of one four star general and 2 three star generals has ordered the reduction of convicted felon Major General David R.E. Hale (ret) to the rank of Brigadier General for his misconduct. Assuming a 25 year life expectancy, the reduction in rank will result in a loss of over $500,000. Based on allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse of authority that were filed by Ms. Donnamaria Carpino in January 1998, BG Hale was court-martialed and pled guilty on March 17, 1999.

"I am pleased that the Army has come to the stunning revelation that a court-martialed General should not retain all of his stars. Hale disgraced his uniform, and his conduct serves as a stain and example to the Army that no one is above the law," said Ms. Carpino. "Now that this is out of the way, I still await the Army's determination of whether it will reimburse me for the $26,000 in legal fees that BG Hale caused me to incur because I dared to file charges against him. Although the Army confirmed my allegations, it has chosen to abandon me rather than accept responsibility for the actions of one of its senior officers," added Carpino.

In June 1998, BG Hale filed a defamation case against Ms. Carpino in Texas in which he filed a sworn affidavit denying that he ever committed an adulterous relationship and that Ms. Carpino "concocted fantasized details." That suit was later withdrawn in October 1998, and BG Hale was fined $2,500 for attempting to intimidate a material government witness for the "purpose of harassment." Although the Army declared Ms. Carpino a victim of a crime, the Army and the Department of Justice has refused to reimburse her the $26,000 in legal fees she incurred defending herself.

"The Army's failure to reimburse Ms. Carpino for legal fees incurred as a result of BG Hale's frivolous lawsuit sends a terrible message to anyone who may consider filing charges against a senior military officer. You do so at your own financial risk.," said Mark S. Zaid, Ms. Carpino's attorney and Executive Director of The James Madison Project (JMP). Zaid commended the Army for its decision to reduce the rank of a convicted felon, but added that the victim must not be forgotten and called upon the Army to immediately reimburse Ms. Carpino for her legal fees.

In June 1999, the Army formally apologized to Ms. Carpino for the mistreatment she received during the course of the Hale investigation. Lieutenant General David H. Ohle, Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, admitted that "Major General Hale made false official statements to Army
officials in an attempt to exculpate himself, mischaracterizing [her] mental condition and implying that [she was] a 'stalker.'" General Ohle indicated that Army officials repeated Major General Hale's false statements and wrote to "offer my sincere regrets for any adverse consequences you may have suffered as a result of the investigation and court-martial of Major General David Hale."

The letter was part of a civil settlement reached between Ms. Carpino and the U.S. Army, Air Force and Department of Defense. The lawsuit, which was filed in November 1998, charged that Army and Air Force officials intentionally released privileged medical and other defamatory information in an attempt to discredit Ms. Carpino's allegations against BG Hale. In the initial stage of the criminal investigation, senior military officials repeatedly intimated BG Hale's accusation that Ms. Carpino was a "stalker" to reporters; a characterization the government later admitted was false in court papers filed last March.

Hale, while still a Major General, was charged with 17 violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice on December 9, 1998, following nearly a one year long investigation prompted by allegations of misconduct filed by Ms. Carpino. Despite facing charges of criminal conduct, MG Hale was permitted to retire in February 1998; a move so criticized that Secretary of Defense William Cohen implemented new retirement guidelines in October 1998. MG Hale pled guilty in March 1999, to seven counts of "conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman" and one count of making false official statements. He was sentenced to a reprimand, a $10,000 fine and the forfeiture of $1,500 per month for 12 months. The latter fine was limited to $1,000 per month due to a plea bargaining agreement with the government. In a nationally televised interview in April 1999 on ABC's 20/20, Hale admitted that he had an affair with Ms. Carpino, and had lied in his lawsuit.

JMP is a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization with the primary purpose of educating the public on issues relating to intelligence gathering and operations, secrecy policies, national security and government wrongdoing.