Col. Steven McGugan, commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Huntington, W.Va., District, was removed from command a week ago, after allegations of misconduct. The Army is not commenting on the investigation.
The Huntington District includes about 45,000 square miles in five states, including West Virginia and Ohio. It is responsible for a variety of important public works, including locks and dams on part of the Ohio River (those in this area are handled by the Pittsburgh District). The Corps spends an enormous amount of money on such facilities which, needless to say, are important for a variety of reasons.
What type of misconduct McGugan is accused of is important. Residents and businesses in the Huntington District have a right to know whether the allegations involve operations of the dams, lakes, reservoirs and other facilities the Corps handles.
It is understandable the Army doesn’t want to talk about the allegations until an investigation is concluded. At the first opportunity, however, the public should be given more information.