National Guard launches investigation in Wisconsin discharge

U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin’s office says the National Guard Bureau has launched an investigation into efforts to discharge a Wisconsin whistleblower.

The Wisconsin National Guard’s leader is shedding more light on who’s investigating whether commanders are retaliating against a soldier who reported multiple incidents of sexual assault and harassment within his unit.

Wisconsin Air National Guard Master Sgt. Jay Ellis’ complaints last year have spurred two federal investigations that are still ongoing. Ellis has alleged his superiors are trying to discharge him and deny him retirement benefits in retaliation. Ellis filed a complaint with the Wisconsin National Guard’s inspector general’s office in May.

Baldwin wrote a letter to the National Guard Bureau earlier this month asking that Ellis’ discharge process stop. Baldwin spokesman John Kraus said Wednesday that the NGB’s inspector general has now launched an investigation into Ellis’ retaliation allegations.

Maj. Gen. Donald Dunbar said in a letter to U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin on Wednesday that the complaint was forwarded to the secretary of the Air Force, which in turn forwarded it to the Department of Defense. The Air Force then sent the complaint back to the Wisconsin National Guard to investigate. Dunbar confirmed that probe is ongoing.

He says the findings will be reported back to the Air Force and then to the Department of Defense’s inspector general for review and final disposition.

An NGB spokeswoman didn’t immediately respond to an email.

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