The Army general leading the Indiana National Guard resigned Monday after a lawsuit was filed earlier this month accusing him and other Guard officials of retaliating against a subordinate for reporting their alleged sexual affairs to investigators.
Army Maj. Gen. Courtney P. Carr, Indiana’s adjutant general, was accused of retaliating against the contractor who said he was having an affair and then working to get her fired from her new job.
A spokesman for the Indiana National Guard wouldn’t comment on the ongoing lawsuit, but said that the retirement was prompted by “a conversation with the governor.” Another soldier named in the lawsuit, Lt. Col. William Poag, has already left the Indiana National Guard but a date for that departure was not immediately available, the spokesman said.
The Guard said that Carr was retiring from the Army and his resignation will be effective Aug. 16.
“I want to thank Governor Holcomb for the distinct opportunity to serve as the adjutant general,” Carr said in a statement. “It has been my honor to lead the exceptional soldiers and airmen of the Indiana National Guard.”
Carr’s resignation came after a case was filed in Marion County Superior Court on Aug. 1 by attorneys for Shari McLaughlin, a contractor who began working as a family assistance specialist for the Indiana National Guard in May 2017.
No attorney has been listed yet for Carr in court records.
McLaughlin’s lawsuit alleges that her supervisor and mentor were both having affairs with senior leaders. The mentor was married to a retired active-duty soldier and was having an affair with Carr, while the supervisor was married to another Guardsman but having an affair with Poag, the J9 officer in charge, according to the lawsuit.
One woman had been “bragging” to McLaughlin about having an affair with Poag, the lawsuit reads. The woman having an affair with Carr also shared with McLaughlin sexual images, videos, texting, rendezvous times and locations, according to the lawsuit.
One incident allegedly occurred Sept. 12, 2017, at an event held at the Marriott East Convention Center in Indianapolis.
“During the convention, [the woman] sent McLaughlin a text asking her to keep an eye on storage room door at the Marriott East Hotel Convention Center,” the lawsuit reads. “[The woman] and Major General Carr, who was in military uniform, emerged from the storage room later, smoothing their clothing and straightening their hair. Both [the woman] and Carr appeared disheveled upon exiting the storage room. Later, [the woman] unilaterally told McLaughlin that she and Major General Carr had sex at the hotel."
Poag, Carr and the two women allegedly having affairs attempted to retaliate against McLaughlin after she made statements to an investigating officer from the Indiana National Guard Inspector General as part of an Army Regulation 15-6 investigation, the lawsuit states.
That investigator was looking into a separate affair and told McLaughlin that Carr’s alleged affair “was beyond the scope of his investigation and that he would have to report it to his higher-ups,” according to the lawsuit.
He also told her that he would not include the information alleging the affair in her written statement.
After that interview, McLaughlin said that someone broke into her office, which is required to be locked at all times because of the sensitive personnel information filed away inside.
Carr, Poag and the women “embarked on a program of retaliation, including surveilling McLaughlin and demanding that McLaughlin notify her supervisor whenever she was not going to be physically present in her office," according to the lawsuit.
McLaughlin eventually resigned her position on July 6, 2018, and moved to another job working for Alutiiq Global Solutions as the Indiana state coordinator for the Building Healthy Military Communities program, the lawsuit states.
The program was to be administered within the Indiana National Guard personnel directorate.
However, Carr contacted McLaughlin’s employer, Alutiiq, and told them that the Guard would decline to have the program run by their company if McLaughlin was the state coordinator, according to the lawsuit.
Alutiiq then terminated McLaughlin on Sept. 10, 2018, after Carr said she was “unfit to represent the state,” the lawsuit reads.
Carr originally became Indiana’s adjutant general in May 2015, leading more than 14,000 Indiana National Guard soldiers, airmen and state employees.
Brig. Gen. Timothy J. Winslow, director of the Joint Staff, will assume duties as interim adjutant general until Holcomb appoints a new adjutant general, according to the Indiana National Guard.
Kyle Rempfer is an editor and reporter who has covered combat operations, criminal cases, foreign military assistance and training accidents. Before entering journalism, Kyle served in U.S. Air Force Special Tactics and deployed in 2014 to Paktika Province, Afghanistan, and Baghdad, Iraq.