October 27th, 2010
09:17 PM ET
12 years ago

Soldier at Miller campaign incident didn't have permission to be there

(CNN) - An active-duty soldier involved in a highly publicized altercation with a reporter had not requested permission from his superiors to be part of a security team at an event for an Alaska Senate candidate where the incident took place, a base spokesman said Wednesday.

Fort Richardson spokesman Sgt. Maj. Derrick Crawford said that Spc. Tyler Ellingboe, 22, had not had not requested permission from any chain of command to work outside his regular Army duties.

A second soldier involved in the incident, Sgt. Alexander Valdez, 31, had gotten permission from his previous chain of command, Crawford said, but not from his current chain of command.

The soldiers were working as part of Republican candidate Joe Miller's security team when they handcuffed a reporter from the Alaska Dispatch, who was trying to ask the candidate questions.

Crawford said Tuesday that commanders at Fort Richardson, where the soldiers are based, were investigating.

The two soldiers were working for a company that was hired by the Republican candidate for security purposes.

It is not against Army rules for the soldiers to take outside work, but Crawford said they must have written permission from their commanders and their work must not jeopardize their unit's readiness, good order or discipline.

The Army is also investigating whether the soldiers violated rules forbidding involvement in political campaigns. Fort Richardson investigators are trying to determine whether the soldiers' employment by a third party who was hired by Miller's campaign shielded them from a violation of those rules.

- CNN's Brian Todd and Larry Shaughnessy contributed to this report

Filed under: Joe Miller
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Concerned Voter

    Joe Miller is the gift that just keeps on giving. What a failure he turned out to be.

    October 27, 2010 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  2. metropl

    Let Miller win. He'll be in jail before his term ends. He's a fascist.

    October 27, 2010 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  3. ATL Guy

    Republicans feel that the rules apply to them. If they take control of the House and/or Senate this year, it will be a major blessing for Obama because America will see who the true wackos are.

    October 27, 2010 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  4. Tony

    I am retired military, and the these soldier's presence as paid employees of the campaign must be a violation of the UCMJ. Especially without the consent of their chain of command.

    More importantly, as a soldier you have a right to your opinions and a right to vote; but you cannot be seen as taking sides in any political campaign because that is a violation of Federal Law.

    Perhaps Alaska is different, but in the lower 48 handcuffing and roughing up a member of the public or media is assault. Why haven't these soldiers been taken into custody and prosecuted?

    Oh, forgot, brown shirts are back in style...the Tea Party and the Republikan Party are throwbacks to the thirties...is anybody paying attention to this train wreck we are all headed toward?

    October 27, 2010 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  5. Justin

    These soldiers should be court-martialed. While taking work without command approval and participating in political activities are serious violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the most serious violation is the illegal detention of a member of the press. Soldiers swear to uphold and defend the Constitution upon enlistment. Violating that oath – as these soldiers clearly did – discredits the armed forces, which is a violation of Article 134 of the UCMJ.

    October 27, 2010 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  6. pw

    That soldier should be court-martial; he also violated the Hatch Act.

    October 27, 2010 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  7. russinmaine

    Well heck you better lock this man up and not let him vote seeing as you, Mr President are doing absolutely nothing to assure the soldiers overseas will have a chance to vote what is one more soldier. Something tells me you realize the majority of the military vote will go against you and your lackeys. Some of us find your behavior reprehensible considering you call yourself their "commander in chief!" And to you CNN this is a real prime story with all the potential voter fraud already rearing its ugly head with little to no coverage!

    October 27, 2010 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  8. George of the jungle

    Great now they hire dumb solidere to strong arm you at rallys. the rethugs are breed all their own Vote them out

    October 27, 2010 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  9. duke

    It jibes about right with the Miller campaign,
    The hypocrisy of these people is astounding,
    I bet the Miller camp will throw the soldier under the under the tea-drinkers express bus in order to get a vote!
    Now the headless governor of arizona won't release a innocent man because she doesn't want appear weak on crime All for a vote incredible!!

    October 27, 2010 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  10. George of the jungle

    Great now they hire dumb soliders to strong arm you at rallys. the rethugs are breed all their own Vote them out

    October 27, 2010 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  11. Frank in Valparaiso Indiana

    SIR. Welcome to Alaska. I'll be hooking up the sewage truck to clean out the aircraft tanks. Blizzard, no sir, I'm used to it....

    October 27, 2010 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  12. Marcus

    This gets better and better by the minute!

    October 28, 2010 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  13. Scottsdale Sue

    This soldier should have to pay hard for this dastardly deed. Perhaps the Army should throw the book at this person.

    October 28, 2010 02:45 am at 2:45 am |
  14. Coopm

    What I'm wondering is why these "soldiers" and other representatives from Miller's camp are not beng charged with wrongful imprisonment, false arrest or some other charge related to handcuffing a news reporter. Private security personell are not law enforcement and have no powers of arrest, and therefore have no legal authority to handcuff anybody. Let them try that with me and they'd be in for a lot more of a fight than they bargained for.

    October 28, 2010 04:39 am at 4:39 am |
  15. Dave

    So here we have the Tea Party. We have active duty soldiers providing "security" and acting like street thugs at political events. We have candidates that are flat-out liars about their past and have contempt for anyone who asks them questions. We have candidates who refuse to speak to the media. We have candidates who lack the basic knowledge of government and the Constitution. This isn't the Tea Party. This is the Nazi party.

    October 28, 2010 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  16. W.G.

    Throw the book at emĀ“ !!

    October 28, 2010 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  17. texasgoat

    I loved serving my country and wanted to make a career of the service, but I felt I was always on duty and counldn't take a holiday without getting advance approval.

    October 28, 2010 08:29 am at 8:29 am |