Admirals implicated in bribery probe

Vice Adm. Ted Branch, Director of Naval Intelligence (left), and Rear Adm. Bruce Loveless, Director of Intelligence Operation Vice Adm. Ted Branch, Director of Naval Intelligence (left), and Rear Adm. Bruce Loveless, Director of Intelligence Operation U.S. Navy photographs

NOVEMBER 10, 2013 — The Navy has suspended the access to classified material of Vice Adm. Ted Branch, Director of Naval Intelligence, and Rear Adm. Bruce Loveless, Director of Intelligence Operations.

"The decision to suspend their classified access was made based upon the nature of allegations against Admirals Branch and Loveless in connection with an ongoing Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) investigation into illegal and improper relations with Leonard Francis, CEO of Glenn Defense Marine," said a November 8 statement by by Rear Admiral John F. Kirby, Navy Chief of Information

The Glenn Defense investigation saw the arrests in September of Leonard Glenn Francis, the CEO of Singapore-based Glenn Defense Marine Asia Ltd. (GDMA), U.S. Navy Commander Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz and NCIS Supervisory Special Agent John Bertrand Beliveau II. The complaints against them allege that Francis paid Misiewicz and Beliveau with luxury travel and prostitutes in exchange for confidential information and other assistance in relation to hundreds of millions of dollars in Navy contracts. A third Navy official, Cmdr. Jose Luis Sanchez, 41, was arrested in Tampa last week and was charged with accepting $100,000 from Glenn Defense Marine Asia.

Admiral Kirby said Friday that the suspensions of the two admirals' access to classified material "was deemed prudent given the sensitive nature of their current duties and to protect and support the integrity of the investigative process."

The allegations against Admirals Branch and Loveless involve inappropriate conduct prior to their current assignments and flag officer rank. There is no indication, nor do the allegations suggest, that in either case there was any breach of classified information, said Admiral Kirby's statement.

The New York Times says that "Navy officials said the allegations against Admirals Branch and Loveless involved personal misconduct in accepting gifts or services from Mr. Francis, the nature of which could have exposed them to blackmail."