UPDATE: Indiana Guard chief resigns days after civil suit’s filing

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.

Please enable JavaScript to view this content.

Story Continues Below

Editor's note: You can comment on IBJ stories by signing in to your IBJ account. If you have not registered, please sign up for a free account now. Please note our updated comment policy that will govern how comments are moderated.

3 thoughts on “UPDATE: Indiana Guard chief resigns days after civil suit’s filing

  1. The governor said he’s thanked Carr, who became the guard’s leader in 2015, “for his service to our state and country.”

    This comment sounds remarkable like what Holcomb said about Veterans Affairs director Jim Brown after Brown resigned in the face of abuse of funds scandal.

    Question is: how does one overlook the seriousness of the charges, yet shake the hand and praise the individual as though their service to the country trumps the seriousness of the charges?

    1. Well, we haven’t been invaded by Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, or Kaintuck during his exemplary term, so he should be praised.

  2. One act of indiscretion does not simply wipe away 20+ years of service to the country and state. This new generation of people seem to want to believe that only one thing can be true at a time. What this general did was wrong and should be handled accordingly, which it seems it is. However that does not mean that he didn’t do a lot of good in his life and career too. We have all done bad things in our lives as well as good. I’m getting really sick hearing people that most assuredly have so e things in their past that someone would be triggered by, implying that another person should be solely remembered by the bad things that he/she did.

{{ articles_remaining }}
Free {{ article_text }} Remaining
{{ articles_remaining }}
Free {{ article_text }} Remaining Article limit resets in {{ count_down }} days.