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National Guard leader resigns after lawsuit filed against him

Posted: 1:49 PM, Aug 12, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-12 16:11:23-04
Maj. Gen. Courtney Carr.png

INDIANAPOLIS — Gov. Eric Holcomb announced Monday that Indiana National Guard Adjutant General Courtney Carr will retire, days after RTV6 reported Carr is facing a lawsuit accusing him of defamation.

“Upon my recommendation, Maj. Gen. Carr has announced his decision to retire,” Gov. Holcomb said. “I received his resignation letter Saturday, and I thanked him for his service to our state and country.”

Carr has served as Adjutant General since 2015 and his resignation is effective Friday, said the Governor’s office.
As RTV6 reported Aug. 9, a former contract worker with the Indiana National Guard has filed a lawsuit accusing their top leader of having an affair with a subordinate and then retaliating against a woman who reported it.

Shari McLaughlin filed the lawsuit on August 1 in Marion County Superior Court against Major General Courtney Carr, the Adjutant General of the Indiana National Guard.

Starting in May 2017, McLaughlin worked as a government contractor servicing the Indiana National Guard Tyndall Armory.

When she was hired, McLaughlin was paired with an in-house mentor who began a sexual relationship with Carr around July 2017, court records show.

The woman shared with McLaughlin explicit dialogue she had exchanged with Carr including sexual images, videos, texting, rendezvous times and locations, according to the lawsuit.

McLaughlin also claims the woman asked her to serve as a look out during one incident at a local hotel during a convention.

Court documents also outline McLaughlin’s allegations of other sexual relationship between some of her co-workers and Indiana National Guard active-duty members.

She says once she came forward with concerns, McLaughlin was subjected to retaliation, unwarranted write-ups, false accusations, and intimidation.

“Realizing that the retaliation and intimidation would not stop, McLaughlin resigned her position, effective July 6, 2018 because the work environment had become too unsafe and toxic for her to continue to function in her role,” read the lawsuit.

McLaughlin alleges Carr got her fired from her subsequent job at Alutiiq, a federal contractor who administers the Building Healthy Military Communities program.

Shortly after starting her new position, the company informed her not to report to work the next day because she was “unfit to represent the state.”

“Carr intentionally interfered with McLaughlin’s business relationship with Alutiiq by threatening to terminate Alutiiq’s contract to conduct business in the state of Indiana.

McLaughlin’s is suing Carr for interfering with her employment contract.

“TAG Carr intentionally induced breach of McLaughlin’s contract with Alutiiq without legal justification and for personal reasons of a vendetta against McLaughlin for having reported his illicit sexual affair with a married woman and who was working for the Indiana National Guard,” read the lawsuit.

McLaughlin is also suing Carr for defamation, and claims she suffered damages as a result of Carr’s actions.

McLaughlin is represented by Tae Sture of Indianapolis law firm Sture Legal Services LLC.

RTV6 reached out to the Indiana National Guard for comment on the lawsuit.

“While we cannot discuss the nature of the current litigation, we can say the Indiana National Guard as a whole prioritizes its care for all uniformed and civilian personnel within the organization and continues to be a ready and reliable force supporting its communities, state and nation,” said SSG Beth Houx, Public Affairs Operations.

No attorney is listed yet for Carr in the court record.

Brigadier General Timothy Winslow will serve as the interim Adjutant General, according to the governor’s office.

Winslow is a career Army National Guard aviator and was promoted to brigadier general in May, said a news release.

During times of national emergency, National Guard members can be called into active federal service by the President of the United States.

During times of peace, the governor commands the National Guard, which helps local law enforcement agencies during emergencies at the direction of the governor.

Carr submitted the following statement to RTV6:

"I want to thank Governor Holcomb for the distinct opportunity to serve as the adjutant general. It has been my honor to lead the exceptional soldiers and airmen of the Indiana National Guard. Tim brings a world of knowledge and a wealth of experience into this new leadership role. His leadership style will be a steadying influence during this time of change."