Ask A JAG: I am accused of misconduct. What will happen?

Photo by Ruslan Grumble/Shutterstock.com

Photo by Ruslan Grumble/Shutterstock.com

By Jessica Lowy
Stuttgart Law Center

Q. I am a civilian and was accused of misconduct. What will happen to me?

U.S. Army Europe handles civilian misconduct through the Civilian Misconduct Action Authority. The CMAA is a program that establishes policies and procedures for responding to misconduct by civilians eligible to receive individual logistical support from the military. It is governed by AE Regulation 27-9, and empowers the garrison commander to adjudicate all instances of civilian misconduct.

The CMAA investigates and determines whether a violation of law or regulation has occurred. If there is evidence to show the allegations are “more likely than not to be true,” administrative action may be taken against you. The CMAA will then notify you of the allegations and the action it intends to take in writing. Letters of counseling are issued for minor administrative actions, are not appealable and require no further action.

A Notice of Intent is issued for more serious matters. In the event of an NOI, you have the right to examine the investigative file, and respond within three days. The CMAA may then issue a Notice of Adverse Action explaining the penalties being imposed as well as what, if any, appeal process is available. The CMAA may offer you the ability to participate in the Rehabilitation and Restitution Opportunity Program. It may also take adverse action, which can include suspension of eXchange or commissary shopping privileges, ration cards, Army Post Office usage, access to Morale, Welfare and Recreation facilities and services, or installation access. Further, it may impose curfew or the early return of dependents on wrongdoers. The adverse action imposed will have a rational relationship to the offense committed, e.g., shoplifting at an eXchange facility will result in loss of those privileges.

The CMAA does not take action that directly impacts your civilian career, however, the CMAA’s actions may be a source of consideration that the Civilian Personnel Office uses when it determines career penalty under its regulations. The Management Employee Relations Specialist within the Civilian Personnel Office advises agencies on how to handle personnel penalty matters and career impact.

Commanders can also take administrative action against you, independent of CMAA action. The concept of double jeopardy does not exist in the context of administrative action, and you may receive punishment from both the CMAA and your commander for the same infraction.

This column is not intended as individual or specific legal advice. If you have specific issues or concerns, you should consult a judge advocate at 421-4152/civ. 0711-729-4152.