BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) — The Air Force is reprimanding a former commander at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois as part of a plea agreement over sexual misconduct accusations against him.
The agreement comes after Col. John Howard was removed in December as commander of the 375th Air Mobility Wing. The (Belleville) News-Democrat reports the reprimand states Howard sought a sexual relationship with a "very junior" female enlisted airman while serving in the United Kingdom in 2016-17.
Sexual assault charges filed against Howard in June were dropped. Howard's attorney, Richard Stevens, says the defense had uncovered evidence and witnesses refuting that allegation. Stevens says Howard has submitted his retirement application.
Howard spent about five months leading the Scott wing's 3,000 personnel. Scott is about 20 miles east (32 kilometers) of St. Louis.