Colonel Deborah J. Liddick is the Commander of Air Force Basic Military Training (BMT) at the 737th Training Group, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. (Air Force)
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The wife of a lieutenant colonel who was relieved of command earlier this year has accused her husband’s former boss of ordering the couple to hand over wardrobe boxes they paid for out-of-pocket and refusing to give them back, according to a lawsuit filed May 30 in Bexar County, Texas.
Caroline Perry alleges in the 5-page claim that outgoing basic military training commander Col. Deborah Liddick made repeated demands for the boxes and that her husband felt compelled to hand them over.
The boxes are worth about $220, according to the lawsuit, filed by attorney Melanie Cogburn of Haddad Legal Group in Austin, Texas. Perry is seeking return of the boxes or the cost for replacement, as well as attorney fees.
Liddick could not be immediately reached for comment. Air Education and Training Command spokesman Col. Sean McKenna said the Air Force is aware of the lawsuit. “It is clearly a civil matter and, as is appropriate, a civil court will decide on the outcome,” he said.
Lt. Col. Craig Perry was removed from command of a basic training support squadron at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland on March 27 after a commander-directed investigation said Perry engaged in unprofessional relationships with subordinates, made inappropriate comments about Liddick in staff meetings and improperly removed derogatory information from a subordinate’s personnel file.
Air Force Times wrote about the Perry case in a May 30 online story, and it is the subject of a cover story that will be on newsstands Monday.
The lawsuit alleges Craig Perry felt “obliged to turn them [the wardrobe boxes] over and directed her [Liddick] to a storage location where the boxes were kept.” Liddick later asked him to bring the metal bars associated with the boxes to her office, the lawsuit said.
Caroline Perry “has made repeated demands for the boxes to be returned ... however, Col. Liddick has refused to return the boxes” or reimburse the Perrys for them. Liddick is set to retire next week.