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


Government Praises Courage And Resolve Donnamaria Carpino; Civil Lawsuit Settled


The United States Army has issued a letter of apology to Donnamaria Carpino, whose allegations of misconduct against Major General David R.E. Hale led to the first court-martial in 50 years of an Army general. 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."

"I am ecstatic over this letter. The Army's apology completely vindicates me," said Mrs. Carpino. She added that the Army's conduct to initially support Major General Hale and slander her was despicable.

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

"This lawsuit demonstrated that government officials can and will be held accountable for their misconduct. The favorable result will hopefully send a message to government officials to be on guard that their unacceptable actions will be challenged," said Mark S. Zaid, Mrs. Madden's attorney and Executive Director of The James Madison Project (JMP). Zaid, however, criticized the U.S. Army and Justice Department for failing to reimburse Mrs. Carpino for $26,000 in legal fees she incurred as a result of a frivolous defamation suit filed against her by Major General Hale.

In August 1998, Major General Hale filed a sworn affidavit in support of his civil lawsuit denying that he ever committed an adulterous relationship and that Mrs. Carpino "concocted fantasized details." That suit was later withdrawn and Major General Hale was fined $2,500 for attempting to intimidate a material government witness for the "purpose of harassment." Although the Army declared Mrs. Carpino a victim of a crime and recommended she be reimbursed for her legal fees, the Department of Justice has refused to do so.

Major General Hale 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 Mrs. Carpino. Despite facing charges of criminal conduct, Major General 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. Major General 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.

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.