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Frigate Captain Relieved Following Incident with Female Midshipman

June 11, 1996

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) _ The Navy removed the captain of a guided missile frigate on Monday, saying it lost confidence in his command after an incident involving a Naval Academy female midshipman.

Cmdr. James H. McKinney Jr., 40, the skipper of the Norfolk-based USS Nicholas for the past 10 months, was relieved by Vice Adm. Douglas J. Katz, commander of Atlantic Fleet surface vessels.

``The relief is an administrative action, and additional details are not being released,″ said Archie Galloway, a spokesman for Katz’s command.

The USS Nicholas had been making a port call in Halifax, Nova Scotia, over the weekend when the incident occurred.

The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk reported, citing an unidentified source, that McKinney had been on liberty and was seen on the dance floor with the female midshipman, a senior at the academy.

The two left the club and returned to the Nicholas, where they entered McKinney’s cabin, the newspaper reported.

The Navy did not allege any sexual misconduct with the unidentified woman, who had been assigned to the Nicholas as part of her senior-class academy cruise. Normally, women are not assigned to the Nicholas.

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