A U.S. Air Force general and the former head of Michigan’s Air National Guard and the Selfridge Air National Guard Base improperly received nearly $200,000 in federal pay, according to a report released Monday by the Department of Defense inspector general.
The report said Brig. Gen. Richard Elliott failed to terminate his dual-status military technician position as required by federal law and Department of Defense regulations, used his public office for private gain by receiving pay and benefits to which he was not entitled, and improperly claimed temporary duty expenses related to travel. It said the offenses were committed between January 2006 and April 2007.
Elliott was named assistant adjutant general for the Michigan Air National Guard in 2006.
According to the Michigan Air National Guard, Elliott has nearly 40 years of experience, including active duty service in the Air Force and the New York Air National Guard. He joined Selfridge in 1996 and was named commander of the bases’ host organization, the 127th Wing, in 2004.
The Defense Department’s inspector general began its investigation into allegations against Elliott in June 2012.
According to the report, Elliott failed to terminate from his dual status military technician position at Selfridge. He was the wing commander as a part-time guardsman at the base in addition to being air commander, a full-time federal military technician.
However, Elliott failed to terminate his dual-status until 16 months after he accepted his appointment as assistant adjutant general. The delay enabled Elliott to continue receiving pay and accrue sufficient time for retirement under the Federal Employee Retirement System, or FERS, the report said. By not ending his dual status, Elliott received $194,370.90 in federal pay.
Elliott also approved his own time and attendance records, which he was not authorized to do, according to the report.
The investigation concluded that Elliott improperly claimed temporary duty expenses.
Elliott denied any wrongdoing and told the Inspector General’s Office that other officials were “responsible for the proper submission of all required paperwork and approvals.”
The inspector general recommended the secretary of the Air Force take appropriate action. “Such action should include determining whether Brig. Gen. Elliott accrued sufficient time to qualify for military technician retirement under FERS, and initiating the recoupment of the overpayment of federal pay and benefits and expenses improperly received by Brig. Gen. Elliott,” the report said.