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


Guilty Plea Agreement Attained By Army Prosecutors; Press Conference By Donnamaria Carpino Madden To Be Held Following Sentencing


Major General (ret) David R.E. Hale's attorney announced today that he has agreed to enter a guilty plea to seven counts of "conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman" and one count of making false official statements. The plea agreement requires Major General Hale to admit that he had engaged in an extra-marital affair with four wives of his subordinates including the prosecution's primary witness Donnamaria Carpino Madden, and then lied to military investigators and officials to hide his misconduct. The court-martial proceeding is set to occur tomorrow at 8:30 A.M. P.S.T. at Ft. Lewis, near Tacoma, Washington.

"Today I feel elated and vindicated because Major General Hale will soon stand before the country and the world as a convicted felon. Justice has prevailed in what was a long tortuous struggle for myself and my family," said Mrs. Madden. The Army prosecution team is to be commended for their diligence and honor, added Mrs. Madden.

Although the criminal charges against Major General Hale may be nearing resolution, the stigma of his actions will continue to haunt the Army and Air Force due to a pending civil action filed by Mrs. Madden in Washington, D.C. The lawsuit charges 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 has now openly admitted was false in court papers filed this month.

"Various military officials, including those of senior rank, blatantly and intentionally violated Mrs. Madden's privacy in order to defend one of their own. While the pending criminal proceedings against Major General Hale certainly represents the government's attempt to correct its initial mistakes, its refusal to accept institutional accountability for its actions does nothing to lessen the pain and frustrations Mrs. Madden has experienced for more than a year," said Mark S. Zaid, Mrs. Madden's attorney and Executive Director of The James Madison Project (JMP). The civil action will publicly expose the misconduct of senior military officials in their attempt to avoid and/or cover-up yet another sex-charged scandal, added Zaid.

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. Madden. This case marked the first time in nearly 50 years that an Army general faced court-martial charges. 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. Also in October 1998, Major General Hale was sanctioned $2,500 for harassment by a Texas State Court after filing a defamation action against Mrs. Madden alleging her accusations were false.

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.

A press conference will be held following the sentencing of Major General Hale on Wednesday, March 17, 1999, at a time and place TBA.