Former Nuclear Admiral Gets Reprimand in Fake Casino Chips Case

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The admiral fired from his position last fall as the number two officer at U.S. Strategic Command has been reprimanded and fined for his use of counterfeit gambling chips at an Iowa casino, the Navy said in a statement today.

By accepting the non-judicial punishment, Rear Admiral Tim Giardina will still be able to serve in the Navy.

Until last October Giardina had been the deputy commander of Stratcom which is the unit responsible for America's nuclear forces. He was removed from his post following an investigation into his alleged use of gambling chips at a western Iowa casino. U.S. Strategic Command is located in Omaha, Nebraska.

Last summer Iowa gaming officials launched a probe into Giardina's alleged use of counterfeit chips at the casino and then notified Stratcom that he was under investigation. At that point the Navy's Criminal Investigative Service took over the investigation.

In a statement released Monday, the Navy said Giardina had been found guilty of two counts of conduct unbecoming an officer by Admiral Bill Gortney, commander of U.S. Fleet Forces Command, after the investigation found violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

The counts involved Giardina's lying to investigators and for his failure to turn in and subsequent use of the counterfeit chips he claimed to have found at the casino. As a non-judicial punishment Giardina received a punitive letter of reprimand and was had his pay forfeited by $4,000. By accepting the punishment, Giardina avoids going to a court martial proceeding.

When Giardina was the deputy commander at Stratcom he held the three star rank of vice admiral. But when he was reassigned to the Navy staff so the investigation could run its course he reverted to his previous two-star rank of Rear Admiral.

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