General Opposes Brown’s Nominee

FEB. 15, 2012

California National Guard Brigadier General Charlotte L. Miller has announced that she will voice her opposition to legislators today about Major General David Baldwin’s nomination to the top position of the state National Guard. Miller will testify in the Senate Rules Committee today, in what should be a very interesting hearing.

Miller had been the focus of an investigation, lead by Baldwin, which ended up with her termination from the California National Guard. Except Miller said that she has never seen evidence of an investigation. Other guard members involved in the alleged investigation were either removed from leadership positions or transfered elsewhere, but no one else was unceremoniously canned as Miller was.

This is not a personal beef. “In the clearest terms possible, Mr. Baldwin is unfit for command of the California National Guard,” Miller said during an interview.  “He does not have the integrity, the honesty or the basic professional record to stand at the top and issue orders to the thousands of outstanding men and women in the Guard.”

Charlotte Miller, a brigadier beneral and 32-year veteran in the California National Guard, was the first female general for the California Army National Guard, with her ground-breaking promotion to general.

The media reported that Baldwin dismissed Miller in August 2011 as part of his attempts to reform the CNG after a scandal. But Miller said her firing was a deflection from Baldwin’s own cover-up of an investigation into missing weapons. Finding Baldwin responsible for the missing weapons and alleged cover-up would have resulted in promotion denials and discipline.

The Sacramento Bee Series

In 2011, the Sacramento Bee published a series of stories exposing several of the California National Guard top brass, accused of double dipping on pay. But Miller said that it was only after The Bee asked about pay issues for several former generals, that the Guard’s newly appointed adjutant general, Col. David Baldwin, launched an internal inquiry, attempting to draw attention away from himself, and sparking the media blitz.

An August Sacramento Bee story reported, “Brig. Gen. Charlotte L. Miller was removed from the Guard because, Baldwin reported, ‘I had lost faith, trust and confidence in her abilities as a senior leader’.”

Miller said she was legally advised not to comment on the record for the story.

But Miller pointed out that the entire article had comments and perspective only from Baldwin, as all of the other guard members in the story followed appropriate CNG protocol and did not comment on the investigation.

The California National Guard

Miller said Baldwin has repeatedly demonstrated a disturbing pattern of favoritism that rewarded unqualified allies loyal to him, and punished others who were not part of his inner circle.

Miller described this as “Baldwin’s morale-crushing leadership style,” and said that there are more CNG members who want to come forward and speak out against Baldwin, but are afraid.

Her decision to address the California State Senate Rules Committee on Wednesday and testify against Baldwin’s nomination came about when she saw how one-sided the news stories were, Miller said.

But Miller said that her larger concern is because she was denied due process by Baldwin, she doesn’t want this to happen to the remaining 20,000 California Army National Guard members, should any of them ever have a grievance.

‘No Comment’

Miller’s said that her decision not to comment for the Bee stories about the National Guard allowed Baldwin, and the Bee’s reporter, Charles Pillar, to make false claims and character assignations that cost Miller her job. She not only wants the record set straight, she doesn’t want Baldwin to be rewarded for such underhanded and unprofessional behavior.

Miller said that Baldwin’s accusation that she “set the conditions for a complex scheme that cost taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars” is false. The program Baldwin was referring to was “so new, with only one payout during my tenure, it was not possible for ‘tens of thousands of dollars’ to be misdirected or unauthorized during my watch,” Miller explained.

“His comment was issued with no evidence and cost me my reputation and job,” Miller said. And missing from the stories in the Bee was any explanation of how the recruiting incentivizing program really operates, according to Miller. And it was those accusations without substantiation that Miller said killed her career.

With “fluid oversight,” Miller said that the National Guard bureau recruitment management office “was always looking for ways to increase ‘numbers’ by incentivizing the recruiters and branding the product.”

Three-Decade Performance Record

Miller said that all of her performance evaluations have been “outstanding, including my most recent evaluation completed in April 2011.” Miller said she was “Relieved For Cause” but never was allowed due process, which includes providing her with copies of any allegations, and a chance to contest the allegations. She was just fired instead.

Miller said that Baldwin cited a single incident going back to 2007 as the basis for her termination, but again, she was denied copies of the investigation, and denied an opportunity to contest the allegation. Miller said that Baldwin asked one of her former supervising generals to alter his performance evaluation of Miller in 2007, but the general refused.

While Baldwin personally attempted to force Miller out of the Guard, she said, “This is not  about me.  This is about all of my fellow soldiers in the Guard who could be denied ‘Redress of Grievance’ based on Mr. Baldwin’s layman interpretation of legal code, and who are afraid to confront someone like him who has proven he will do anything to anyone who gets in his way.  Baldwin ended my career for no other reason than because it secured for him a political and professional advantage.  And he knows it.”

Katy Grimes

 

2 comments

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  1. sharon mikulenka
    sharon mikulenka 17 April, 2012, 10:10

    MG Miller has always been a great soldier and leader. This isn’t the first time this has happened in the CNG. Quite often really.
    You go girl!

    Reply this comment

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