NJ National Guard Commander Resigns Amid Scandal [AUDIO]
For nearly a decade Major General Glenn Rieth has been the state's top military commander as head of the New Jersey National Guard, but scandal has forced his resignation.
His more than 30-year military career will come unceremoniously to end when he officially retires effective December 15.
Speaking only on the condition of anonymity, officials say the 54-year-old, married Rieth and a woman who works for him were caught touching each other in the General's office last month. They say Rieth reported the incident with his aide to Governor Chris Christie early last month and said it was being reported to the Army. He offered his resignation less than two weeks later.
The woman involved is reportedly married too, lives just a few miles away from the Rieth's family home and even socialized with the General and his wife.
Calls to Rieth, the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and members of the legislative Military and Veterans Affairs Committees were not returned. Christie has said he's close to Rieth because they were raised in Livingston, just outside Newark, and their families knew each other. The Governor did release a statement.
"Last week General Glenn Rieth offered his resignation as Adjutant General of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs which I accepted," explained Christie. "He has served the State of New Jersey and the United States Army for over 30 years and will be retiring effective December 15. I thank General Rieth for dedicating his career to his state and country, including nearly 10 years as New Jersey's Adjutant General. This is obviously a difficult time for his family and General Rieth did the right thing by stepping down to address this as a personal matter."
Rieth was first appointed by Governor Jim McGreevey and served under Governors Jon Corzine and Dick Codey before being kept on by Christie.
The commander of the New Jersey National Guard leads more than 9,000 soldiers and airmen and oversees the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and all state veterans' programs, commissions and facilities in the state.
Rieth has been in the military since 1980. Before being appointed by McGreevey as Adjutant General in 2002, he was the director of the State Army Aviation Office for the New Jersey Army National Guard. He attended the Citadel-Military College of South Carolina where he was a quarterback under head coach Bobby Ross. Ross later led the San Diego Chargers to a Super Bowl appearance in 1994.