“Absolutely Nothing Happened”

Maj Gen Charles L. "Chuck" Carr
Maj Gen Charles L. "Chuck" Carr

By Skip Munger | News of the Force

The Civil Air Patrol (CAP)’s national commander is looking for a qualified member to fill the National Historian position. This position was established to perform and manage historical research, writing, collection and preservation of historical materials; to plan and coordinate the use of historical resources, as well as advise commanders and staff on the use of historical information in policy development and decision-making.

In an official post to wing commanders, CAP Maj Gen Chuck Carr has sent out a job description and a request for applications to fill the position as CAP national historian. That seems to confirm reports from last week’s National Board meeting [NB] that long-term historian Len Blascovich has retired. A new national historian would have the authority to name his/her own staff, which could mean that the CAP’s national curator, CAP Lt Col Jim Shaw, the assistant national historian, CAP Lt Col Todd Engelman and CAP Col Ray Lyon may all be replaced.

The investigation of that complaint dragged on for 15 months until after former national commander, CAP Maj Gen Amy S. Courter, termed out. Then the new national commander, Carr, ruled that “absolutely nothing happened.” He has gone online to the media with this assertion. He and other CAP officers have stonewalled media requests – including from NOTF – to provide a copy of the report of investigation. The statements the “leadership” has made about this complaint raise a lot of questions, as NOTF has been covering.

This is what this announcement does not tell us:
1. Whether this reflects any changes in the handling of the theft complaint. So far, no indication of that.
2. Whether those accused in the IG complaint can apply for the national historian position, and
3. Whether Jim Shaw, Todd Engelman and Ray Lyon will remain in CAP historian positions.

Not to mention that, so far, there has been no response to valid issues raised about the IG complaint.

In about the same time frame that Gen Carr ruled that “nothing happened” on the theft complaint, Carr also re-instated the membership of John Tilton. Tilton was appointed to the CAP’s Board of Governors (BoG) by disgraced former CAP national commander Tony Pineda. Tilton was the only BoG member to vote against Pineda’s removal in 2007. As former members of the CAP’s National Executive Committee (NEC) are reminding us, Tilton was accused of charging somewhere between $15,000 to $20,000 on a CAP corporate credit card he held in his possession as the CAP’s Southeast Region commander.

This launched an investigation that found Tilton guilty. Tilton’s membership was terminated and he was removed from the BoG for his refusal to cooperate with the investigation. Tilton appealed his termination to the Membership Action Review Board (MARB). The MARB, which was stacked with Bowling and Pineda appointees, upheld Tilton’s appeal.

This put the CAP in uncharted waters. The CAP hired an outside attorney with an expertise in governance issues. Counsel rendered the opinion that Tilton was terminated for theft and not by an adverse member action. Therefore, the MARB had no jurisdiction over the appeal. Tilton was again terminated. He again appealed. This matter was again dragged on until Gen. Courter termed out. The matter went on for about three years.

Does anyone else find it at all interesting that two major theft complaints were cleared by Gen Carr? Does anyone else find it odd that these were not referred to law enforcement?

As we have stated, the CAP IG process is not designed to investigate criminal matters.

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