The leader of the Indiana National Guard is resigning days after a former contract worker accused him of retaliating against her for reporting his alleged affair with a subordinate.
Gov. Eric Holcomb said Monday that Maj. Gen. Courtney Carr, the Indiana National Guard’s adjutant general, submitted his resignation letter Saturday at the governor’s “recommendation.”
Holcomb says Carr’s resignation is effective Friday. The governor said he’s thanked Carr, who became the guard’s leader in 2015, “for his service to our state and country.”
The decision comes in the wake of a civil lawsuit filed in Marion County on Aug. 1 by Shari McLaughlin, a former civilian employee with Skyline Unlimited, a contractor used by the Indiana National Guard. In it, she claims Carr retaliated against her for telling investigators of his affair as they looked into other sexual misconduct issues in the Guard.
McLaughlin said that in July 2017, a co-worker at the Tyndall Armory in Indianapolis shared with her explicit information about her relationship with Carr that “included sexual images, videos, texting, rendezvous times and locations” and plans to add a third party (a male) to their liaisons.”
The woman was identified as Colleen Nicholson, who was in-house mentor to McLaughlin.
McLaughlin also said that in September 2017, at a “Battleminds to Home Mental Health Summit” in Indianapolis, she saw Nicholson and Carr emerge disheveled from a storage room. Nicholson later told McLaughlin of their sexual encounters, the suit says.
In May 2018, during an investigation of other illicit sexual activity among various National Guard officers and employees, McLaughlin told the investigating officer of Carr’s affair. The colonel investigating the other affairs “appeared stunned” and said he’d have to report her information to “higher-ups.”
That precipitated a series of retaliatory events, McLaughlin claims in the lawsuit, including her locked office being entered without her permission and accusations that she had violated various rules. She resigned July 6, 2018, and took employment in August with a different federal contractor as the Indiana state coordinator for the Building Healthy Military Communities program.
In September, the suit claims, Carr called that contractor to say the Indiana National Guard wouldn’t work with that firm if McLaughlin was the coordinator. She was then fired, after being told Carr said she was “unfit to represent the state.”
In April, McLaughlin filed a tort claim with Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill’s office, which denied her claim in May. That paved the way for the civil suit, in which McLaughlin is claiming Carr maliciously defamed her and got her fired. She is seeking unspecified damages and a jury trial.
Brigadier Gen. Timothy Winslow will serve as the interim adjutant general. Winslow is a career Army National Guard aviator and was promoted to brigadier general in May.