We have previously discussed stolen valor cases where police arrest people for pretending to be former decorated veterans and heroes. But what if the man is not only the police but the police chief? When Robert Kerkorian joined the Waukegan, Ill., police department 26 years ago, he said that he was a Navy Seal (a common claim for stolen valor cases). That may have remained his secret until he was promoted to chief and a little checking led to a big embarrassment. Kerkorian was in the Navy for only six months and never even made it to Seal training.
I have previously criticized these cases (here and here) as a threat to the first amendment. Such cases are deterred through social stigma and simple research, as it was here. Waukegan is a small suburb of Chicago and Kerkorian’s lie soon was uncovered.
In a June 29 letter to city officials, Kerkorian wrote:
“I served in my preindoctrination class prior to the start of [Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL] training until I was issued a general discharge under honorable conditions in February of 1987. My discharge was based on my principled refusal to discuss matters involving non-military family members that I deemed unrelated to my ability to serve our nation.” That may have been a problem with the clearance process.
Since he only spent 6 months in the Navy, it seems a bit understated to say “I could have done a better job informing those that I never completed SEAL training.” One officer says that Kerkorian spoke of a combat mission with the Seals.
Kerkorian will be demoted down to his previous rank of police commander.
The way this case unfolded is precisely why no law is needed. The man was disgraced and demoted. There is no need for a criminal law to add jail to such punishment.
Source: Business Insider
Kudos: Michael Blott