DES MOINES (AP) — An Army captain was relieved of his command because of sexually explicit emails he exchanged with former Des Moines Public Schools Superintendent Nancy Sebring.
The Des Moines Register reported Sunday that the Army's recruiting division is investigating the conduct of Capt. John Hintz, 42, and whether he sent any of the emails from his military account. Hintz had been leading the Army's recruiting efforts in the Des Moines area.
Army spokesman John Largent said such conduct would be contrary to Army values, but he declined to comment on the specifics of the Hintz investigation.
“The U.S. Army takes all of the allegations seriously. That's why the investigation is going on — to look into details and to find out what the exact truth is about everything,” Largent told the Register.
Sebring, 57, abruptly resigned from her Des Moines post on May 10. She was to start as the superintendent in Omaha on July 1 but resigned from that job in early June — six weeks after accepting it and after reports of the email exchanges appeared in the Register and The World-Herald.
Last month Hintz and Sebring sought unsuccessfully to block the release of more emails that identified Hintz as her lover. Hintz said in a written statement to the court that it would be devastating to his personal and professional lives if his identity were made public.
In emails in April and May, Hintz and Sebring discussing their six-week affair. Hintz is married and the father of two children. Sebring is married but has been separated from her husband, who lives in Colorado.
Sebring and Hintz met through his work as a recruiter. The initial emails they exchanged related to a school fitness event Hintz helped organize. Hintz also spoke at Des Moines schools during at least two assemblies after he became the area's top recruiter in January.
Hintz had a distinguished record serving in the Army for 14 years. He was awarded the Army Commendation Medal with special recognition for valor, the Gen. Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award and three Purple Hearts.
His unit, part of the 101st Airborne Division, was featured on CBS's “60 Minutes” while he was in combat in Afghanistan two years ago. The mountain outpost Hintz commanded was shelled heavily by insurgents.
Stephen Kelly, a Massachusetts lawyer who defends members of the military, said Hintz's career could be in trouble if a reprimand is added to his permanent record. He said such an action can kill an officer's career, because officers are supposed to set examples of good behavior.
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