Guantanamo Bay Base Commander Dismissed

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Associated Press
Sunday, July 10, 2005

MIAMI, July 9 -- The commanding officer of the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was relieved of his duties Saturday after he was accused of inappropriate management practices, a Navy spokesman said.

Capt. Leslie J. McCoy, who had commanded Guantanamo since March 2003, was the subject of an investigation into inappropriate personnel and administrative practices unrelated to the base's detention camp for suspected terrorists.

"His release and reassignment are in no way related to the detainee operations taking place in Guantanamo," said C. Patrick Dooling, spokesman for Navy Region Southeast, based in Jacksonville, Fla. Dooling would not elaborate on the allegations against the officer.

McCoy was relieved of his duties Saturday by Rear Adm. Annette E. Brown, the region commander, who had "lost confidence in his ability to effectively lead," Dooling said.

McCoy will be transferred to the staff in Jacksonville. Capt. Lawrence S. Cotton, chief of staff of Navy Region Southeast, will command the base until a permanent replacement is named.

During McCoy's tenure, the base staff grew substantially to accommodate the arrival of prisoners after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States. About 520 detainees are jailed at Guantanamo.

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