Now Reading
Carmona steps down from Dover mortuary review

From the archive: This story is more than 10 years old.

Carmona steps down from Dover mortuary review

  • Carmona

Richard Carmona has resigned from a panel examining whether the remains of troops were mishandled at the military's Dover, Del., mortuary, just two days after the Pentagon announced he would head the investigation.

The former U.S. surgeon general announced his Senate candidacy Thursday.

The special panel was formed to look into allegations that the remains of American war dead were mishandled at the main mortuary for servicemembers. The Dover Air Force Base facility twice lost track of body part of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan, and cut the arm bone from a dead Marine without his family's consent, to dress him for a public viewing.

Carmona agreed to serve on the panel months ago, but it was not announced by Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta until this week.

Carmona declared Thursday that he's seeking the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by retiring GOP Sen. Jon Kyl.

Panetta was still talking up Carmona's leadership of the panel hours after the Tucsonan had declared his candidacy.

"Dr. Carmona notified the department this morning that he is stepping down from the panel," a Pentagon spokesman said in a written statement Friday.

Carmona said he was stepping down from the committee "to avoid the opportunity for the appearance of partisanship with this important work."

"It is... critical that the Dover review committee that I chaired and began assembling in August of this year moves swiftly and aggressively to review the actions of the Air Force in response to the allegations of the Dover mortuary staff. This important work deserves the full attention of the review panel, without any distractions," he said in a statement released by his campaign.

— 30 —

Best in Internet Exploder