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Idaho Guard demotes soldier after porn site surfaces

Jul. 14, 2013 - 06:00AM   |  
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BOISE, IDAHO — The Idaho National Guard says it acted appropriately in demoting a 15-year veteran from full time to a weekend a month last year after discovering she was running a porn site.

Idaho Adjutant Gen. Gary Sayler told the Idaho Statesman that allowing Staff Sgt. Amy Weidner to continue working full time at Boise’s Gowen Field would have adversely affected the “good order and morale” of other soldiers.

“We feel the soldier in question has been treated fairly and that actions taken to date have been in accordance with applicable military regulations and policies,” Sayler said.

In March, Weidner, 35, filed a tort claim as a precursor to a lawsuit but hasn’t yet filed a lawsuit. The Idaho Guard and National Guard Bureau at the Pentagon are looking into her allegations of discrimination, sexual harassment and a hostile work environment.

Weidner started the porn site in October 2011 but shut it down when fellow Guard members found it in May 2012. Weidner and her Twin Falls lawyer, Lynn Dunlap, declined to comment to the newspaper.

In her tort claim, Weidner said her husband agreed to the making of the pornography and that the couple has been injured by the Guard’s actions. Weidner went from working full time and making $59,000 a year to working one weekend a month and two full weeks a year, making $8,000.

“Claimant’s rank has been denigrated, her authority has been taken away from her, her full-time job has been forfeited, and the failure of the command to enforce its own rules and regulations other than against claimant, has caused severe hardship for claimant and her husband, her work performance and her reputation,” the tort claim states.

The manager of the state’s risk management program, Kit Coffin, said she is waiting for more information before responding.

Weidner’s website offered photos, video and live on-camera chats with subscribers. Weidner used the name “Sandy Blaze” and didn’t identify herself as a member of the military. She promoted the site when it launched with a tweet saying, “Hello soldier boys. You can visit me...for some treats. I Support the Troops!!!”

Col. Timothy Marsano, the Guard’s public affairs officer, said the porn site “called into question her credibility, integrity and adherence to Army values and standards of conduct.”

“There is no such thing as ‘off duty’ regarding the personal conduct” of a full-time guardsman, Marsano said. “Staff Sgt. Weidner should have known her conduct was inappropriate, even though it occurred away from her place of duty.”

Weidner joined the part-time Guard in 1998 and started working fulltime in 2004. She worked as an administrative noncommissioned officer in the 1st Battalion of the 183rd Aviation Regiment, which flies Apache helicopters.

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