Navy Removes Top Official at Gitmo

Capt. Nettleton reassigned amid investigation into death of civilian.
7:39 | 01/22/15

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Transcript for Navy Removes Top Official at Gitmo
Top navy officials stripped of his title the US navy announcing. The removal of captain John nettleton. As commanding officer at gitmo that move amid a death investigation near Guantanamo. Allegations the captain was having an affair. Hello everyone I'm Michelle Franzen in New York Defense Secretary chuck Cagle not saying much about this incident during a news conference earlier today here's what he did wrong. But. The wind what is your point were captured its commander. Well. The base commander has been released. Is now the purview of appropriate authorities so. I won't. Have any say specifically about that which would be inappropriate. But. The commander has been relieved him and that is right. All right now from war on this let's bring in ABC news pentagon. Journalists we Martinez. Hi there how are you. Good that this is tied to an alleged affair and death investigation give us an idea what happened here. Well this is an interest he set of circumstances Michelle we are talking about the senior commander of the US naval facility at Guantanamo Bay. This is the installation of the naval base of which the detention camp the much more famous detention camp is that tenant. This captain any captain who oversaw that facility. Was relieved of command because there was a death on the base about ten days ago. And as part of investigation into the death sentences individual. It was information was discovered by investigators have pointed to an alleged affair. But not just them but what's most interesting about this is that the affair was with the widow of the man who was found in the waters one time on day. It's unclear what the circumstances were behind death. But what is known is that adultery. Or having an affair is a violation of the unit military's you know flown in from court of justice. And so. An adult and I can and the navy captain John Hilton was removed from his command and placed on desk duty. And it's higher headquarters and that's what we are right now in this situation absolutely give us an idea of how the navy learned about this. So about ten days ago this Jim Christopher turner who was an employee at the needle exchange. Which is equivalent to on the facility to supply facility on the and the naval base he was written reported missing. The next day he his body was found floating in the waters of on time on May. What panel bay the military base straddles both sides of that this body water island and that's where his remains were found. Eight as part of the investigation is a criminal investigation watch obviously something like this happens as part of an investigation came across some information and indicated that. His wife for his wife laughter who are sort that base was potentially involved Ani an affair with. And commander of any holidays captain John Hilton. That is in violation notice and of the military code of justice and so therefore. He threw me from command hazard in his dissent in this debt Kia in Jacksonville. The navy has phrased it as saying it's lost confidence in captain adults and what exactly does that mean in militaries the loss of confidence in. Basically euphemism. And use Google quite a bit by the navy and basically means that you are a senior commander. You are supposed to be. You supposed to be have major responsibilities was to exhibit. Senior qualities of leadership. You are supposed to be respectful of those under your command and you're supposed to follow all of the regulations. If any of those are violated they remove you from your command. And they the euphemism they he's used his loss of command lots of command loss of confidence. But technically what it means is you've been fired from your post. You are reassigned to some other capacity because you still hold your rank. But you are put in a place cooler position essentially while. That case is developed to see what whether initial information needs to be about process further in the form of either nonjudicial punishment a letter of reprimand. Our potential in some cases even criminal action. So a loss of confidence is used. Quite a bit but any meaning he has a reputation for being the toughest surface in terms of its command structures when its officers who command ships in the at sea. Officers on land they hold on to a very high standard and they have the highest rate of officers being relieved of duty. For whatever circumstance and this is determined to use lots of confidence and the captain's position at Guantanamo Bay was not related to the detention center there right so what was his role. His role as commander in the installation of the naval facility to add to which the detention camp at Guantanamo is a tenant. So he runs all of the supplies to go on the base there are other units that are housed there. At Guantanamo Bay including Yemeni Coast Guard facility. Obviously overseas so it's kinda like it's its own American town on the southeastern and. Cuba this is a US naval base that's been and the president is negotiating with. He acumen a government of the more than a hundred years ago the United States continues to plague thousands. Of dollars in rent every year for the use of this facility. And so what we have there is a steel base. It's a refueling stop its any it's that it basically. Is a home for several thousand US state personnel military and civilians and what you have there also is the detention camp much more famous detention camp. How which has its own command structure that is overseen by a one star navy admiral that's Colin joint fort task force Guantanamo. That still is 122 detainees and enemy combatants that we are so unfamiliar with. But they are merely attendance the what captain Elton Brand was the basin which. That task force was named Kenneth. Are you mentioned that the captain was reassigned so what happens to this navy captain now in terms of the investigation. So he's been reassigned to a desk job it is higher command in Jacksonville Florida. Of that it has said is a place holder for him until he couldn't sit investigation plays out. How we're talking still about to the other various. And crazy connections in this case that he's having an affair with someone who. The husband of Hulu was found floating in the waters are gone time all day. And investigators say that the and don't have a cause of Katharine ham and there's no visible signs as to why. What were the circumstances beyond that. And no one is making a connection here between the death and the affair right now. On the but it's it's in just for now it's this is a matter circumstance that this investigation triggered. The unit information and led to nettleton being removed from command. He's gonna have to wait the results of this investigation to see what happens. And then ultimately his senior commander once all of the information has been gathered is gonna make a decision as to what's gonna happen when this career but typically when a commander. Is removed for a lot of confidence essentially their military career is over. That is how high likelihood we're gonna see here in this situation but what follows afterward. It's gonna had to depend in large measure on the results of the investigation which is still ongoing. All right ABC's Louis Martinez thank you very much for joining us. You can keep up with this story in real time by downloading the ABC news happen starring in this story for exclusive updates on the go. For now I'm Michelle Frandsen in New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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