Former naval officer pleads guilty at misconduct hearing

A former high-level naval officer at CFB Esquimalt pleaded guilty Monday to one charge stemming from a personal relationship with a junior officer.

In a court martial in Esquimalt before presiding military judge Lt. Col. Louis-Vincent d’Auteuil, retired commander Nord Mensah, a former CFB Esquimalt base logistics officer, pleaded guilty to conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline.

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Information officer Lt. (N) Melissa Kia said two other charges, disgraceful conduct and another count of conduct prejudicial to good order, were dropped.

Mensah, who retired for medical reasons in 2016, failed to report a personal relationship with another officer, a female major working under his direct authority. Failing to report the relationship contravenes Canadian Armed Forces regulations.

The personal relationship occurred between Aug. 12, 2015 and Sept. 5, 2015 at CFB Esquimalt. At the time Mensah was married with five children.

After about two hours of submissions, d’Auteuil imposed a $2,500 fine and a severe reprimand. For a serving officer, such a reprimand would have serious career consequences.

Mensah is now retired from the military and according to information posted on the Internet has taught at Fanshawe College in London Ont. and at Wilfrid  Laurier University Online.

At the court martial, his defence lawyer said Mensah was suffering mental-health issues at the time of the unreported relationship.

The military prosecutor pointed out the affair placed the former logistics officer in a conflict of interest. As base logistics officer, Mensah was in charge of all supply issues at the base, from military items to building supplies and food.

Mensah joined the Canadian Armed Forces in December 1999 and left in October 2016. His military career included a number of senior positions and at least one tour of Afghanistan.

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