Charges dropped against one petty officer in fatal Coast Guard crash

The following is the text of a press release issued by the U.S. Coast Guard:
(ALAMEDA, Calif.) — A charge of dereliction of duty against Coast Guard Petty Officer Lavelle M. Teague was found to be unsupported and was dismissed following a non-judicial punishment hearing held in Alameda, Calif., Tuesday.
Teague faced the charge under Article 92 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice in connection with his duties as a lookout during a patrol in San Diego Bay Dec. 20, 2009, that ended in a collision between a Coast Guard boat and a civilian vessel. The proceeding, known as an Article 15 hearing or captain’s mast, was presided over by Capt. Stephen Metruck, chief of staff of the 11th Coast Guard District. Metruck concluded that the evidence presented at the hearing did not show that Teague, the boat engineer seated in the right rear seat of the patrol boat, was derelict in his duties relative to his lookout responsibilities.
Dereliction of duty was the only charge Teague faced. Three other petty officers involved in the incident face courts-martial.
Non-judicial punishment is a disciplinary measure within the military justice system more serious than administrative action, but less serious than trial by court-martial. Unlike courts-martial, which are public trials, NJP proceedings are not open to the general public.
By Professional Mariner Staff