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General Is Dismissed; Source Cites 'Improper Relationship'

May 30, 1997| From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — A general in charge of the Army's medical operations in the Southeast was relieved of his duties Thursday over what one official said was an "improper relationship" with a civilian nurse.

The Army's surgeon general ordered that Brig. Gen. Stephen Xenakis be relieved of his command at the Eisenhower Army Medical Center at Ft. Gordon, Ga., Lt. Col. Bill Harkey, an Army spokesman, said Thursday night.

Harkey refused to give any reason for the decision by the Army's top medical officer, Lt. Gen. Ronald Blanck, but he said Blanck had suspended Xenakis on May 12.

A Pentagon official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Xenakis, a psychiatrist, was relieved because of an "improper relationship" with a civilian nurse who had been carrying for his ill wife.

"There is a further investigation ongoing," the official said, noting that Xenakis has not been charged with any criminal offense. The official declined to specify any other administrative actions taken against Xenakis, citing the Privacy Act.

Xenakis said Thursday night he has not decided if he will retire from the Army or wait until the internal investigation is completed and seek an assignment elsewhere.

"Even though I did not know what the allegations are and I still do not have a statement of them, in the best interest of my wife and caring for her, I elected to relinquish command," he said.

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