Your Navy

First ‘Fat Leonard’ court-martial kicks off tomorrow

A Norfolk Naval Station courtroom will be the scene of the Navy’s first court-martial in the ever-widening Leonard “Fat Leonard” Francis scandal when proceedings convene on Jan. 11.

Chief Warrant Officer 4 Brian T. Ware, who was officially charged Aug. 11, faces multiple charges of violation of a lawful order and graft in connection with the scandal.

Ware is currently the food service officer on the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan, which is forward deployed to Japan.

The Navy’s charge sheets allege Ware committed multiple offenses by soliciting and accepting gifts over a three-year period, during which he was assigned first to the command ship Blue Ridge and later the carrier George Washington.

In exchange for “lodging, transportation and the use of cellular phones, constituting a total gift value of over $1,000,” the charge sheet said that Ware allegedly participated in fraudulent contracting practices for food and other supplies being provided by Glenn Defense Marine Asia.

Ware’s Navy career is two months shy of 31-years. He initially joined in March 1987 and was promoted to his current rank of W-4 in June 2016.

Ware waived his right to an Article 32 hearing in August and will be traveling from Japan for the trial.

All Navy cases being convened in what’s officially known as the Glenn Defense Marine Asia case are being tried in Norfolk. Navy officials expect additional trials to begin later this year.

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