There’s controversy surrounding a Pennsylvania Marine vet, who is currently running for a seat in the state House, following revelations that he went AWOL for two months during his two-year stint as a Marine.
The information appears in a document known as a “chronological record.” The record shows that Kevin Haggerty’s active duty tour lasted from Dec. 30, 1996, to Sept. 12, 1997, and reserve duty from Sept. 13, 1997, to Sept. 15, 1998, when he was discharged.
The document was obtained by The Times-Tribune after the paper filed two FOIA requests.
Haggerty, a Democrat, is running for the state House of Reps. for District 112, against Republican opponent Ernest Lemoncelli. Haggerty represented the district from 2013 to 2014.
Haggerty has stated in the past that he served his country and he was given a discharge and told: ‘You did it under honorable conditions.’
However, at a town hall meeting in Dec 2013, when he was asked about his veteran status, Haggerty said he served three years in the Marines, got hurt and was “administratively discharged”– which he said was neither an honorable nor a dishonorable discharge.
According to the document obtained by the Times-Tribune, “The dates Mr. Haggerty was absent without leave — May 11, 1997 to July 20, 1997 — coincide with a notation on the DD-214 discharge form he showed the newspaper in 2014.” The discharge mentions “time lost” for exactly the same dates.
In 2014, when he was declared a candidate for county commission, Haggerty said he did not know what the “time lost” numbers meant.
During a bitterly contested primary election campaign against fellow democrat Frank Farina, the circumstances of Haggerty’s discharge came up again.
Joseph Fabricatore, Haggerty’s former chief of staff– who has run one of Farina’s constituent offices since June– told the Tribune that he is talking about the matter now because he is tired of “covering for [Mr. Haggerty].”
Fabricatore and Archbald Navy veteran, Joseph Sabia, brought the newspaper an earlier version of the ‘chronological record’ document.
Fabricatore says of his former boss: “He’s a manipulator, he’s a liar.” Sabia says he got involved in exposing the record to honor veterans. They just want the candidate to come clean about his military record. It’s not right, Sabia says, that Haggerty is using his military service to promote his campaign.
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