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Casualty Sex

Randy Setzer pads out of the bedroom in his stocking feet, plops down onto a couch, tucks his camouflaged battle-dress uniform into his boots, zips them up and stands.

Suddenly, he's a soldier again.
"It feels sorta weird putting this on," Setzer says of his fatigues. "It's been a while."

Fifteen months, to be exact.
Until March 1996, Setzer was a major in the Arizona Army National Guard, where he helped supervise a shop of 55 mechanics and technicians who repaired everything from rifles to tanks on the sprawling National Guard base in the shadow of Papago Park on East McDowell Road.

He's a working-class guy. At 40, he is of average height, average build, average appearance and probably average intelligence.

He is soft-spoken, almost to the point of seeming shy. His career has always been hands-on, he says, and he has deliberately eschewed staff-level work as the province of "headquarters weenies."

"That's not reality," he says.
Even in the downsized military, Setzer seemed to be going places. As a major, he was knocking down $62,000 a year. A promotion to lieutenant colonel was on the horizon, and his immediate supervisors rated him highly.

But Setzer's 22-year career came to an abrupt and ignominious close after the Guard accused him of sexually harassing three female subordinates. Setzer appealed his firing, but a hearing officer upheld it.

Setzer is now preparing to take his case to the federal Equal Opportunity Employment Commission. It's the last avenue available to him, and it promises to be a long fight.

He pores over his case and plots strategy in the living room of the tidy two-story home he shares with his wife of 22 years, Liz, a postal-service supervisor, their three children and their dog, Bandit.

Just outside Setzer's back door, flotillas of ducks cruise past on a manmade lake. Inside the house, Christian-themed artwork lines the walls. On the shelf by the big-screen TV in the living room sits a picture Bible, along with a couple of dusty Tom Clancy tomes.

The surroundings are comfortable, but there is something undeniably pitiful about the house now--an air of isolation, as if its walls are the only things shielding Setzer and his family from the accusations leveled against him by the Guard.

Now, Setzer has chosen to surrender what privacy he still has by pleading his case to the court of public opinion. He explains that the Guard and its methods need to be dealt with in the open.

"There's all these young lieutenants coming up, and they need to know that this is the kind of thing that goes on," he says. "They eat their young out there. There's a few old guys at the top, and they don't want anyone challenging them."

Liz ticks off the sacrifices she and her family made during her husband's career, the long periods apart while Randy was away on training, the missed weekends. Both Liz and Randy liken their friends from the Guard to an extension of their family--even the people who became his accusers.

"These people, I mean, we were so good to these people," says Liz. "We had them over to barbecue, all the time." But Liz, whose father was in the Guard and who says she had always respected the institution, never realized how quickly one can go from model soldier to brigand.

She has supported her husband throughout his ordeal, even testified on his behalf, and insists that he hasn't tried to shield her. "I've read that entire case," she says.

Randy says that thanks to Liz's job, the household has remained solvent, but he soon must start looking for another job.

Despite his resolve, Setzer is concerned about the repercussions of going public.

"This isn't going to be something that's going to keep us from looking at people in the face at church, is it?" Randy asks.

That depends on the kinds of people in Setzer's congregation. At first glance, the Guard's case against Setzer seems irrefutable. The allegations are so bizarre and so specific that seemingly no one would ever go to the trouble of inventing them.

But that's exactly what Setzer says happened--that he was undermined from both above and below; that his case was bungled from the outset and that the investigation was not really an investigation at all, but a carefully orchestrated smear job.

There are problems with the case. The hearing officer upheld the firing despite the fact that he discounted the credibility of one of Setzer's two key accusers. The man who convinced the credible witness to come forward was dating the incredible one, and had a motive to seek revenge on Setzer. Other officers would testify that the man who decided to dismiss Setzer was upset about Setzer's rapid rise through the officer ranks.

 

It's an interesting case, and not just because it might titillate. It points out the problems inherent in sexual harassment cases in which the alleged crime is seldom witnessed and the motives of the accusers are often as questionable as the behavior of the accused.

"These cases are typically messy," says Barbara Mawhiney, the head of Arizona State University's equal opportunity/affirmative action office. "Often, there are only two people who know the truth, and those people may see things 180 degrees apart. Frequently, it boils down to who has credibility."

The Setzer case is timely, as well--a fact not lost on Setzer's attorney, Joe Abodeely.

"You've seen what a big deal sexual harassment is in the military right now, and it's no secret that the process is frequently abused," Abodeely says. "Randy Setzer is the perfect example."

Abodeely is in private practice, but has 30 years of military service under his belt, both in the Guard and the regular Army. Many of his clients have included members of the Arizona National Guard.

His office is a sort of shrine to the military. Law books compete for space on his shelves with deactivated hand grenades and other military ephemera. He served as a platoon leader during the 1968 Tet Offensive, a fact memorialized by framed photos of him standing, M-16 in hand, before a captured bunker.

After rotating back home, he got his law degree and served as a military lawyer for the Guard and the regular Army, from which he received the Legion of Merit. He has even served as the head of the Arizona National Guard Historical Society.

He's no shrinking violet. His arguments frequently are laced with invective, especially when discussing Randy Setzer and his two key accusers, Candice Medina and Loretta Gomez.

Abodeely takes an almost fiendish glee in pointing out Medina's own sexual peccadilloes. Abodeely introduced scores of sworn affidavits and testimony from Medina's former spouses and co-workers which painted her as sexually aggressive in the workplace.

"Do you really think anyone could sexually harass Candice Medina?" Abodeely asks.

Medina refused to comment for this story. So did the Guard, which stated that none of its active duty personnel could comment. Loretta Gomez could not be reached for comment.

"I'm not anti-Guard," says Abodeely emphatically. "But the Guard has problems. They're petty. They're arrogant. They care nothing about performance and everything about politics. Randy Setzer wouldn't play their game, and now he's paying the price for it.

"I'll tell you what's interesting about this case, in my view. It's how some dysfunctional broads get tied in some interesting relationships with people who have political and employment relationships with my client . . . people don't realize that men can use women to screw over other men, no pun intended."

Loretta Gomez joined the Guard in 1990 as a way to help support her then-2-year-old daughter. She was a single mom, the girl's father seldom if ever around to help out.

She was assigned to a signal company which was activated as part of Operation Desert Storm and served at Fort Huachuca in southern Arizona. In November 1991, she transferred into the Command Support Maintenance Shop, or CSMS, at which Randy Setzer was assistant general foreman, the No. 2 in command.

By Gomez's own account, her life was in turmoil. She admits to having problems with cocaine and methamphetamine, as well as alcohol. Frequently, she would later testify, she was under the influence of drugs while at work.

In early August 1992, she tried to kill herself by slitting her wrists and was hospitalized for almost a month. Four months after leaving the hospital, she transferred to a unit in Tucson, but was placed on inactive status after she stopped showing up for drills.

In Tucson, Gomez made an effort to seize control of her life. She took a job as a secretary with an architecture firm and began seeking counseling to confront some of the demons that had plagued her since she was molested as a child.

In February of last year, while on vacation in Phoenix, she decided to pay a visit to some of her old friends at the base. After parking her car, she strolled over to CSMS. She looked different, one of the men who saw her that day would later testify. She looked happy. Confident.

She would later tell investigators that she had no idea the visit would turn into anything more than a little catching up with old friends.

But it did. As she prepared to leave, she was approached by Robert C. "Two Bits" Tatum, one of the shop's noncommissioned officers. He took her aside for a talk.

 

Gomez later testified, "For some reason . . . I knew what he was going to tell me, or ask me."

Tatum said he had heard she had some problems with Randy Setzer while she had worked there. He told her that he knew someone else who was also having problems with Setzer (it would turn out that Tatum was dating the second woman, who happened to be married to someone else). Tatum asked if Gomez would be willing to talk to her and to make a statement.

Gomez agreed. She returned to Tucson where, a few days later, she received a phone call from Sergeant Candice Medina. The two women had much in common. They were the same age. Both had worked as secretaries at the maintenance shop. Like Gomez, Medina was largely on her own--although Medina had four children.

The two women spoke several times before Gomez faxed a statement to Medina at work a few days later. It is a poignant and powerful document.

Gomez wrote that she had had unwanted sexual contact with Setzer on numerous occasions.

She wrote that she had felt helpless, intimidated because he was her superior officer; that the first time it happened, he had locked her into a conference room and made her sit through a pornographic video before performing oral sex on her and forcing her to reciprocate.

She provided no dates or times, admitting in the letter that she has trouble recalling such details.

Gomez also wrote that she had never come forward at the time because she had been molested by a family member when she was a child and had told her parents, only to see nothing come of it.

"I thought that what was happening to me was an isolated incident," Gomez wrote. "That it was my fault and I must have done something to provoke what happened to me."

Medina told her and Gomez's stories to Sergeant Major Ted Mathias, the top-ranked noncommissioned officer in the staff section of the Guard. Mathias, Medina later testified, told her to take Gomez's statement and her own allegations to Major Shirley R. Patton, the Guard's equal employment opportunity officer.

It was not the first time Medina had spoken to Patton. Several times during the fall of 1995, she had approached the EEO officer and asked her general questions about the process of filing a sexual harassment complaint. She never followed through, though.

In December 1995, Medina also had approached Mary Cox Jeffries, personnel officer for the Arizona Air National Guard, which is headquartered on the same base. Medina told Jeffries that Setzer had planted a kiss on her seven months earlier, in June 1995.

She said Setzer had kissed her after pouring her a rum and Coke. She said that he was impaired when the incident occurred, and that he had chased her down a hallway and kissed her.

Jeffries never took a report. During testimony at Setzer's hearing, however, she stated that she did confront Setzer about the incident and that he had not denied the allegations.

But now, with Gomez's letter, and Medina having transferred out of Setzer's immediate chain of command, her allegations took on a new dimension: Medina accused Setzer of refusing to let her out of the building until she let him fondle her genitals.

Medina laid out her new allegations, along with Gomez's letter, to Patton during a meeting in Patton's office on February 19, 1996. Patton informed Medina that she had no choice but to forward Medina's allegations up the chain of command.

Lieutenant Colonel Richard Palmatier, the military lawyer who would represent the Guard during Setzer's appeal, advised Medina to take her complaints to the Phoenix Police Department, since her allegations now included what may well have constituted a sexual assault.

Phoenix police came to the base at least two times to interview Medina, but were never able to meet her. Abodeely says Medina was dodging the cops because she did not want to make a report; Medina says the missed connections resulted from scheduling conflicts.

Finally, on March 8, more than 10 months after Setzer allegedly had assaulted her, she changed into civvies, drove to Phoenix police headquarters and gave her statement. That same day, Setzer was called to the office of Colonel David Radiczak, the Guard's chief of staff, and told to go home and wait. His promotion to lieutenant colonel went through, despite the fact that he was suspended from duty, with pay.

Phoenix police decided not to prosecute the case. In his report, detective Michael Sechez wrote that it appeared the alleged sexual contact between Medina and Setzer had been consensual, and that there were no grounds for a sexual-assault investigation.

 

The Guard wasn't convinced. Two weeks after Sechez filed his report, Radiczak ordered Lieutenant Colonel Gary Lindberg, a retired cop who had joined the Guard full-time two years earlier, to begin an informal investigation into the women's allegations against Setzer.

A month later, Lindberg handed his investigative report over to his superiors. On May 17, after three months of waiting, Randy Setzer finally learned his fate.

A letter to him from his supervisor, Colonel Dennis T. Brimhall, informed him that he was being placed on indefinite leave without pay because he had broken Guard rules on use of alcohol, for sexual harassment and for conduct unbecoming a National Guard officer.

The leave was anything but indefinite. As far as the Guard was concerned, Randy Setzer's career was over.

There was no court-martial. Setzer hadn't had the opportunity to confront his accusers--something he would do six months later during a hearing into Setzer's dismissal of his appeal.

Joe Abodeely got the alcohol charge against Randy Setzer tossed out right away, by pointing out that the Army National Guard has no written policies forbidding its members from drinking in their offices at the end of the duty day, something Setzer admits he did.

Abodeely next targeted the conduct charge. What conduct was unbecoming? he asked. Drinking had already been formally alleged. So, too, had sexual harassment.

The only thing left, Abodeely concluded, was fraternization with enlisted personnel, which is forbidden by regulation, but, as Abodeely pointed out, is also ignored. He notes that some of the Guard's top officers have married female enlisted subordinates or civilian personnel from within their chains of command.

The conduct-unbecoming charge eventually was dismissed as multiplicitous, meaning Setzer was being charged twice for the same thing.

"That's how sloppy they were with this thing," Abodeely says. "They couldn't figure out what to charge Randy with, so they threw everything they could think of at him."

In the end, the only thing that stuck was the sexual harassment charge. But that charge was also problematic.

The procedures for investigating, mediating and adjudicating sexual harassment complaints are laid out in National Guard Regulation 690-600. The regulation also spells out the role of the equal employment opportunity officer.

It's noteworthy that the later regulation was ignored--Shirley Patton, the EEO officer, had nothing to do with the case. She testified that she was out of the loop once the case went to police for investigation of sexual assault.

Not only had the Phoenix police decided that no crime had been committed, the Guard's sexual harassment regulation sets a 45-day time limit on the filing of a sexual harassment complaint.

None of the women who complained about Setzer ever filed a timely sexual harassment complaint. In fact, none of them ever filed a formal complaint with the EEO officer, the person with whom such complaints must, by regulation, be filed.

So the Guard had relied on the sworn statements of three women, none of whom ever came forward in a timely manner.

Abodeely believes timely notice in such cases is vital, because it gives the accused the opportunity to confront his accusers while the memories of witnesses are still fresh.

This was especially important with Loretta Gomez, whose testimony would ultimately ruin Setzer's career.

"If Randy Setzer would have been put on notice five years ago, when Loretta Gomez says he did these things, he could have called in witnesses who were there during lunch hour, who could have testified that nothing went on," Abodeely says. "Now, it's just her word against his."

Randy Setzer's appeal culminated in a two-day hearing in November 1996 before Lieutenant Colonel Michael McCabe, a military lawyer brought in from the Montana National Guard to decide whether the Guard acted properly when it dismissed Setzer.

Lieutenant Colonel Richard Palmatier, the lawyer representing the Guard, opened, saying, "We have three separate women who at a very base level indicate that Colonel Setzer . . . approached them in the workplace, and in the very least tried to initiate sexual contact with them. That, by itself, even without the degree of detail that the witnesses will tell us about, I would submit would justify the termination action."

In her testimony, Candice Medina stated that on the day before Setzer allegedly fondled and kissed her while they worked on a training report, Setzer had given her a vibrator.

"I was sitting there, you know, totally speechless, and he said, 'Have you ever used one [a vibrator]?' And I said, 'No, sir.' And then he says, 'Can I volunteer to'--or, 'I'll teach you how to use it.' And I'm just sitting there in complete amazement."

 

Medina stated that, out of embarrassment, she placed the vibrator into her duffel bag, then showed it to Rob Tatum, her boyfriend, a short time later. She says the two went to Setzer's office and put it in his desk after lunch.

But in his testimony, Tatum insisted that the two returned the device to Setzer's desk not in the afternoon but around 7:30 a.m.

Medina also testified that, despite her shock and the uneasiness she felt about the vibrator, she told Setzer before she went home for the evening that he could call her the next day--a Saturday--if he needed help finishing the training report.

When asked by Palmatier why she never filed a harassment complaint against Setzer, Medina stated that she didn't want to see Setzer lose his job.

"It was to prevent this from happening to someone else," she said.
In his final ruling on the case, McCabe would write that Medina lacked credibility and that the blossoming of her story from early reports of an illicit kiss to include fondling were signs that she had embellished her accusations once the Guard had begun to take an interest, and once she had Gomez to back her up.

Or, as Abodeely puts it, "She upped the ante."
As for the vibrator, Abodeely claims that Medina, who had access to Setzer's desk, saw the vibrator and threw it into her story to enhance her credibility.

Setzer testified that he had purchased a vibrator to give to his wife during an upcoming trip to Las Vegas, and that he had left it in his desk for several weeks before the trip. Liz Setzer corroborated her husband's story.

As for the drink, Setzer doesn't deny that he offered one to Medina as a reward for staying to help him finish the report.

"I realize that probably wasn't the brightest move, and it's the kind of thing I'll probably regret for the rest of my life," he says.

Setzer says it was Medina who kissed him, but that he quickly backed off.
Other facts must have weighed on McCabe's mind when he labeled Medina incredible. For one, though only 27 years old, she had already been married three times. At the time she was dating Rob Tatum, she remained married to Lorenzo Medina, who lived and served in the Guard in Tennessee.

McCabe also heard testimony from Wava Jean Powers, a secretary from the Tennessee Guard, who stated that she saw Lorenzo Medina and Candice--then Candice Small--having sex on an officer's desk while Medina was married to a woman he would divorce to marry Candice.

Powers testified that Candice Small had pursued Lorenzo Medina "like I've never seen a woman pursue a man before," calling his office so often that he was forced to change his extension number.

Lorenzo Medina testified via telephone that early on in their relationship, Candice had planted a kiss on him at work. He characterized her as sexually aggressive, the kind of woman who would not hesitate to use sex to get what she wanted.

He also testified that she had admitted to him that in 1990, before transferring to Tennessee from Arizona, she had had an affair with Ted Mathias, the sergeant major who had told her to take her allegations against Setzer up the chain of command.

In his ruling, McCabe discounted Lorenzo Medina's allegations against his ex-wife as those of an embittered ex-spouse.

Another enlisted Guardsman submitted an affidavit in which he swore to seeing Candice Medina "pinch a man on the butt" at a bar after duty hours.

And finally, Dale Lautt, a senior mechanic from Setzer's shop, testified that around the same time she was reportedly having trouble with Setzer, she had offered him sexual favors if he agreed to work on her car.

Lautt said he never took Medina up on her offer.
"With 37 years' experience as a mechanic, I just turned around and got out of there real quick," Lautt testified, adding that her sexual favors "wouldn't even pay for parts."

Lieutenant Colonel McCabe would rule that Loretta Gomez's testimony was believable. But there were problems with it as well.

She testified of her experiences as a survivor of childhood sexual molestation, and how it had prevented her from ever coming forward.

After making her watch a pornographic video and forcing himself upon her in the conference room, she said, Setzer initiated sexual contact 10 to 15 times, calling her into his office, closing the door, fondling her breasts and genitals or forcing her to "masturbate" him.

 

She said the abuse was a contributing factor to her suicide attempt. She also told the court that since leaving the Guard, she has lived a lesbian lifestyle.

Though compelling, Gomez's testimony contained several inconsistencies that Abodeely points to as proof that she had fabricated her story.

For instance, in her letter to Medina, she states that after Setzer had performed oral sex on her, he had forced her to reciprocate.

When questioned by investigators, a friend of Gomez's, Staff Sergeant Jose Caneira, confirmed that before she left CSMS, she had told him of the encounter with Setzer in the conference room.

"Caneira advised that he remembered Lori telling him that she was giving Setzer a 'blowjob' when persons unknown started knocking on the conference room door," the report states.

Gomez, meanwhile, told investigators that she had performed oral sex on Setzer after he had brought her to orgasm.

Yet on the stand, Gomez adamantly denied that she had performed fellatio on her superior officer, saying, "I would never do anything like that." She denied knowing what the term "blowjob" meant.

She also said she didn't recall anyone knocking on the conference-room door.
Caneira told the Guard investigator that he had heard rumors about Gomez's and Setzer's involvement several weeks after Gomez left the shop for good.

Setzer became aware of the rumors, and called a meeting in the conference room where he allegedly had assaulted Gomez. He told everyone to quit spreading the rumors, and that there was nothing to them. But it appears his speech may have backfired.

"He [Caneira] felt the meeting only reaffirmed CSMS employees' suspicions concerning Setzer and Gomez," the Guard investigator wrote.

Sergeant Mary Nelson, another of Setzer's subordinates, testified that sometime in 1995 she and Setzer had kissed each other in his office, but that nothing further had come of it. She said she considered Setzer, Medina and Tatum to be good friends, and that she'd never had the slightest inclination to file a sexual harassment complaint against Setzer.

And finally, Robert C. "Two Bits" Tatum, Medina's boyfriend, took the stand. In addition to offering a conflicting account of the time he and Medina returned the vibrator to Setzer's desk, he admitted that he was unhappy with a reorganizational plan ordered by Setzer that would have stripped him of some of his power.

Abodeely and Setzer claim Tatum helped orchestrate Medina's case against Setzer out of revenge. Tatum denies this.

"It made no difference to my life whether they [Medina and Gomez] talked to each other or not," Tatum testified.

But that's not what the record showed. According to investigative reports, at one point Tatum went so far as to telephone Mary Cox Jeffries--Medina's supervisor after she transferred out of CSMS--to tell her that he had located Gomez. The investigator wrote that Jeffries had described Tatum as "livid" during the conversation.

Tatum also conceded under oath that Medina felt the case had taken on a life of its own, and that Medina had "taken some bad advice from people as far as taking it as far as they did."

"She said that she was upset that they had taken this process . . . and that she would take it all back if she knew that it was going to start this realm of situation," Tatum said.

Finally, Abodeely asked Tatum about his nickname: "Two Bits."
Tatum explained that he won the moniker one night in 1982, when he was celebrating a promotion.

"I was getting promoted and somebody throwed two quarters out on the table and said, 'Can you knock those off with your thing?'"

"Do you mean penile organ?" Abodeely queried.
"Yeah, my penile organ," Tatum responded. "I said, 'I can do that,' and I stood up and did it. . . . It wasn't the smartest thing I've ever done."

There are two types of people in the National Guard: "weekend warriors" and technicians.

Though the Guard may be best-known for its weekend warriors, it's the technicians who really make it work. They work full-time. They are experts. They guide the weekenders and clean up after them. They are the mentors. Many of them have been in one position for decades, giving the Guard a skill level unmatched by the regular military, where personnel often resign or rotate on to new assignments just as they are becoming proficient at their jobs.

Randy Setzer was a full-timer, also known as a federal technician. But to maintain technician status, full-timers must also serve their one weekend a month, as well as two weeks of annual training.

Weekenders and full-timers have two separate yet parallel chains of command. At the hearing, both of Setzer's immediate supervisors--his weekender supervisor and his full-time supervisor--testified they had been excluded from the investigation from the outset.

 

Colonel Dennis T. Brimhall, Setzer's full-time supervisor, testified that he had felt uncomfortable firing Setzer. Brimhall testified that he believed the allegations against Setzer should have been investigated more thoroughly.

He said that although his signature appeared on the order, the letter had been handed to him by Colonel John Kablitz, the deputy chief of staff for logistics.

Setzer believes that like Tatum, Kablitz wanted him out of the Guard.
Brimhall testified that Kablitz was worried about what to do with Setzer, whom Kablitz believed had been promoted to lieutenant colonel too soon.

"So Randy posed a problem for Kablitz by virtue of the fact that Randy was going to get promoted to lieutenant colonel?" Abodeely asked.

"Could, yes," Brimhall answered.
"There are only so many lieutenant colonel slots, I assume?" Abodeely said.
"That's right," Brimhall answered.

"And downsizing, can I safely say, has had its trickle-down effect to the National Guard?" Abodeely continued.

"That's right, it sure has," Brimhall agreed.
Both Setzer and Abodeely point out that Brimhall had nothing to gain by speaking out against Kablitz. In fact, Brimhall was coming up for retention at the time he gave his testimony.

Colonel Alberto Rodriguez, Setzer's part-time, or military, supervisor, testified that he was also uncomfortable with the way the investigation was handled. Like Brimhall, he says, he was never provided a copy of Lieutenant Colonel Gary Lindberg's report. And like Brimhall, he says, he had reason to believe that Kablitz was concerned about Setzer's rise in the ranks.

Shortly before Setzer was dismissed, Rodriguez made Setzer his battalion's chief logistics officer--a plum job usually reserved for a lieutenant colonel.

Rodriguez acknowledged that Kablitz had been irked by Setzer's pending promotion, and that Kablitz was jealous of the closeness between him and Setzer.

". . . there seemed to be a problem with loyalty, Randy's loyalty to me as opposed to him not being loyal to Colonel Kablitz," Rodriguez testified.

In his testimony, Kablitz denied any conflict with Setzer, characterizing their relationship as "professional."

But in his December 16, 1996, ruling, McCabe found that Kablitz, the officer who ultimately made the decision to fire Setzer and who ordered the investigation, had prejudged Setzer from the outset. McCabe ruled that this may have warped the investigation, but added that Setzer had been given a fair chance to plead his case during the hearing.

Still, McCabe felt compelled to tack a rather bizarre caveat to his ruling:
"My finding does not mean that reviewing court of law may [sic] disagree and conclude that the failure of the deciding official [Kablitz] to act in accordance with the [regulations] could constitute a 'harmful error.'"

It would seem that McCabe intended to write that a reviewing court may not disagree. No such statement would have been necessary otherwise.

After McCabe handed down his final ruling, Abodeely loosed a flurry of letters, asking the Guard to reconsider. He wrote to the Guard Bureau in Washington, D.C., to request an Inspector General, or IG, investigation into the Setzer case.

Abodeely has argued from the outset that Setzer's case should have been handled with an IG investigation, which is more concerned with impartial fact-finding than with making a case against the accused.

The Guard declined.
Then, on January 8, Abodeely wrote to Major General Glen W. Van Dyke, commander of the National Guard in Arizona, asking him to reconsider the Guard's decision to fire Setzer.

Van Dyke refused.
Abodeely exercised the last avenue available to Setzer within the Guard's prescribed processes: He filed an EEO complaint with Patton, claiming that Setzer had been sexually discriminated against by Candice Medina, and that the Guard, through its flawed investigation, had aided and abetted her.

Patton decided the complaint lacked merit.
And without apparent irony, Patton noted that Setzer had failed to make his complaint within 45 days of the final ruling in his case. The Guard did not apply its time limit for filing sexual harassment cases to the women who accused Setzer.


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