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  • Who's your Daddy???....

    Colonel paternity tangle

    Army War College O-6s linked in DNA test switch
    By Brendan McGarry - Staff writer
    Posted : Saturday Oct 25, 2008 6:26:04 EDT

    When they first met in the summer of 1997, he was a major; she was a specialist.
    He was the executive officer of the 240th Quartermaster Battalion at Fort Lee, Va. She was a communications specialist in the security and operations office.
    Greetings in the hallway became long conversations in his office. Both were married with children.
    “Eventually, we did kiss after work hours,” she said. “Eventually, we agreed to meet.”
    So began the affair and eventual paternity dispute involving former Col. Scott M. Carlson and the woman, as she recalled the story. She agreed to be interviewed by Army Times on the condition that her name be withheld to protect the identity of their 10-year-old daughter.
    Carlson, a 2007 graduate of the prestigious Army War College, was convicted in September by a jury in Cumberland County, Pa., on charges related to arranging for a classmate at the college — a colonel later assigned to the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense — to take a paternity test for him.
    Now, the two could face jail time.
    Carlson, 52, who retired only weeks before the jury’s decision, is to be sentenced Dec. 30.
    “It was more disappointing to me that someone with this level of experience and education would do this,” said Derek R. Clepper, senior assistant district attorney in the Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office and the prosecutor in the case.
    The classmate, Col. Bruce S. Adkins, 47, is to stand trial Nov. 22 on similar charges, including felony criminal conspiracy for tampering with the public record or information. A reservist, Adkins’ retirement is pending the outcome of the case, said his attorney, Greg Abeln.
    Clepper said of Carlson and Adkins, “I don’t understand how they got so far along in their career.”
    Carlson’s attorney, Dennis Boyle, said Carlson denied asking Adkins to take the test.
    “We do believe there are good grounds for appeal,” Boyle said.
    The affair

    The former specialist said she and Carlson began an affair in November 1997 that lasted through the summer of 2000.
    She was married at the time with three children. He was married with a daughter, who is now serving in Iraq with the Marine Corps, Boyle said.
    Boyle said Carlson denied having a physical relationship with the specialist after the baby was born Aug. 25, 1998.
    At first, the specialist didn’t think the baby was Carlson’s.
    Her husband’s name was initially listed on the birth certificate, but a DNA test administered later that year excluded the man from paternity of the child.
    In 1999, she and her husband divorced. The same year, she left the Army.
    Meanwhile, Carlson continued to advance in his career with overseas assignments in Bahrain and Egypt.
    “Every year, I was like, ‘Can you sign her birth certificate?’ ” she said. “There was always a reason why he couldn’t.”
    The dispute

    The former specialist said she received her first monthly child support payment from Carlson for $50 in August 2000. He states in a letter presented as evidence in the case he began paying child support as far back as January 1999. Regardless of when payments began, both sides agree Carlson paid child support for several years.
    The payments — allotments from Carlson’s military pay sometimes augmented with money orders — increased until late 2006, the woman said.
    She said that in May or June of that year, facing rising child care costs, she asked Carlson to raise the monthly allotment from $400 to $600. “He said that money was tight. He was going to get some kind of raise in October,” she said. “I said, ‘Fine.’ There was a level of trust there.”
    In October, Carlson, then enrolled as a student at the Army War College at the Carlisle Barracks, Pa. — the Army’s premiere leadership school — was promoted to colonel. But November came with no change in allotment, the former specialist said. She said she decided she had had enough.
    “I said, ‘That’s it. I’ve given him the benefit of the doubt. ... We’re going to establish paternity and put a court order in place.’”
    In December 2006, she sued for increased child support. On Dec. 29, she said she received a one-time payment of $600 from Carlson, then nothing.
    “He got word of [the complaint] and he immediately stopped the allotment,” Clepper said.
    Boyle, Carlson’s attorney, said Carlson made payments totaling $1,050 that month and “only stopped paying child support because Cumberland County told him to stop until the actual amount [owed] was calculated.”
    Carlson was eventually ordered to pay $991 a month in child support and more than $11,000 in back payments — which he did. But not before he enlisted the help of a classmate at the college to try to cheat a paternity test, Clepper said.

    ...And shephards we shall be. For thee my lord, for thee. Power hath descended forth from thy hand. That our feet may swiftly carry out thy command. So we shall flow a river forth to thee. And teeming with souls shall it ever be. E Nomini Patri, E Fili, E Spiritu Sancti.

  • #2

    The other colonel

    In an interview with authorities, Bruce Adkins said he met Carlson shortly after arriving at the Army War College. The two bowled together on post and, on occasion, went out drinking socially, he said.
    Adkins was one of 20 reservists selected as part of the 338-student resident class of 2007, according to information provided by the college. There is no tuition at the school, as the academic program is considered training sponsored by the Army. The annual academic operating budget is $2.4 million, according to the college.
    According to a transcript of his interview with investigators, Adkins said he suffered a stroke in December 2006 that affected his mobility and memory. He said he struggled with school and that Carlson volunteered to help him with his schoolwork.
    In early 2007, Adkins said Carlson told him about the affair, which was described as a one-time encounter at a bachelor party that took place while Carlson and his wife were separated. After repeated requests from Carlson, Adkins said he agreed to take the paternity test, according to the interview.
    “I ... got a ... [paternity] test for him because he thought he had impregnated another woman,” Adkins told investigators.
    “He said, ‘You know, I just can’t have my marriage destroyed.’
    “He said that he’s 98 percent sure [he’s not the father], but it’s better to be 100 [percent],” Adkins said, according to the interview.
    Adkins said he later realized it was a mistake, but that he felt a sense of loyalty to Carlson.
    “I came from Washington, D.C., and I didn’t make colonel by being disloyal to people,” he said.
    On April 24, 2007 — a month after Carlson visited the Cumberland County Domestic Relations Office to schedule the paternity test — Adkins appeared in the same office with Carlson’s driver’s license, presented himself as Carlson and submitted an oral swab for the DNA sample, Clepper said.
    Office workers weren’t convinced the man was Carlson, but they administered the test nevertheless, Clepper said. Adkins smiled for the camera and pressed his thumbprint on the paperwork, according to copies of the documents filed as evidence in the case.
    To confirm his identity, the office sent a photograph of Adkins to the former specialist, who now lives in Virginia and works as a computer technician. She said she took one look at the photograph and immediately contacted authorities to report that the individual in the picture was not Carlson.
    When asked to describe her reaction to the photograph, she said, “Complete shock.”
    “Not many kids can say, ‘My dad tried to fake a paternity test,’ ” she said.
    The district attorney’s office forwarded a copy of the man’s thumbprint to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Criminal Justice Information Service Special Processing Section in Clarksburg, W.Va. The print was identified as Adkins’, according to Clepper.
    ‘Who’s your daddy?’

    Clepper said Adkins talked about his role after being contacted by authorities. But he said Adkins testified in court that he told his wife about what he had done after the couple ran into Carlson while leaving the college.
    “Bruce Adkins was putting gas in the car with his wife in the car. Scott Carlson passed by and said, ‘Who’s your daddy, Bruce?’ Bruce Adkins’ wife said, ‘What was that about?’ That’s when he confessed to his wife what he had done,” Clepper said.
    Carlson’s attorney, Boyle, rejected that characterization of events. “My client denied that completely,” he said. “He had no idea what he was talking about.”
    Boyle said Carlson acknowledged during his testimony that he was the father of the child and was honest about the affair with his wife and the Army.
    When asked by Army Times how Adkins obtained Carlson’s license, or why Adkins would have taken the paternity test on his own accord, Boyle said, “Neither [my client] nor I have an explanation as to why Adkins would have done this.”
    Abeln, the attorney representing Adkins, said Adkins spoke to authorities without a plea deal.
    “I’ve been doing this a long time, and I could see exactly how this was going to pan out, and his best bet was to go ahead and throw himself on the line,” Abeln said. “I’m hoping that after Carlson is sentenced, the DA will offer us something that will allow my colonel to proceed on with his retirement and his pension.”
    Carlson was found guilty on charges including tampering with physical evidence, obstruction of justice and attempted theft by deception, Clepper said. Adkins faces similar charges.
    Clepper said he charged Carlson and Adkins with multiple felony and misdemeanor charges in part because of the unusual nature of the case.
    “There’s nowhere in the crimes code in Pennsylvania that says it’s a crime to go in and fake a DNA test,” he said. “So you have to find other crimes in the law that would apply to that.”
    Under sentencing guidelines in Pennsylvania, Carlson could serve anywhere from probation to nine months or longer in jail, Clepper said. The judge can go beyond the guidelines if he provides justification, he said.
    “We’re seeking a sentence of incarceration and above the guidelines,” Clepper said. “Scott Carlson lied. He took the stand, and under oath, he either told a story that was a lie, or all the witnesses for the Commonwealth were lying.”
    Meanwhile, the officers won’t face prosecution under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
    In September 2007, the Army Criminal Investigation Command investigated the allegations of conspiracy to commit criminal violations in conjunction with a court-ordered paternity test, Army spokesman Paul Boyce said in an e-mail. But the case ended up in the civilian court.
    “Although both the U.S. Army and the state of Pennsylvania have jurisdiction over the offenses, the state of Pennsylvania was the primary ‘legal victim’ and pursued criminal charges,” Boyce said.
    Friend or foe

    It’s unclear how exactly Carlson retired from the service.
    Army regulations 350-100 and 135-91 stipulate that active-component graduates of the Army War College incur a two-year active-duty service obligation, according to the Army. Carlson completed the 10-month academic program in June 2007. But he retired as a lieutenant colonel July 31, 2008, according to the Army.
    Boyce said personnel in the Army G-1 office reviewed Carlson’s retirement application.
    “He retired ... with 33 years of military service (prior enlisted time included). He applied for retirement and the U.S. Army granted this request after reviewing his application.”
    The former specialist said she had mixed feelings about Carlson’s retirement.
    “In all fairness to the military, as long as he’s retired, she will get some type of child support,” she said of their daughter. “So I’m not sure if the military is my friend or my foe at this point.”
    In September, Carlson’s attorney filed a request to modify the amount of child support payments, given his reduced retirement pay. The judge has yet to rule on the request.

    ...And shephards we shall be. For thee my lord, for thee. Power hath descended forth from thy hand. That our feet may swiftly carry out thy command. So we shall flow a river forth to thee. And teeming with souls shall it ever be. E Nomini Patri, E Fili, E Spiritu Sancti.


    • #3
      what a soap opera the army is.....
      If you allow the world to change you, only then can you change the world....


      • #4
        wow......that's all i can say.
        Bead All You Can Bead


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