The commanding officer of the USS Pittsburgh has been relieved of duty after it was alleged he faked his own death to end an extramarital affair.
Michael P. Ward II took command of the USS Pittsburgh on Aug. 3. He was quoted in a U.S. Navy release as saying, "My dream job is and has always been commanding a submarine. This is the culmination of a dream I have had from a very young age."
Ward's dream job lasted one whole week. On Aug. 10, he was relieved of duty.
Ward was relieved of his duties by Capt. Vernon Parks. In a statement released yesterday and reported by the Boston Globe, Parks said, "Our navy has a very clear and unambiguous standard regarding the character of our commanding officers, spelled out in the charge of command. I reviewed this charge with Cmdr. Ward before he assumed command. He understood the Navy's high standards for command leadership and he failed to uphold them."
While the navy is not releasing any details of the reason Ward was stripped of his command of the sub, the Hartford Courant reports the navy was contacted by a Chesapeake, Virginia woman. The woman, who does not want her name released, claims she met Ward on a dating site last October.
The woman says she began a relationship with Ward, who is married and has children, but told her he was separated. She also claims she became pregnant with his child. The woman further says she received an email last month claiming the naval officer had died.
Yesterday, the woman was interviewed by telephone by The Day. The woman, who works in banking, was quoted as saying, "I don't want revenge here. I want everyone to know the truth about Michael. He does not need to be commanding a submarine. He is a deceitful man."
The Day states the woman sent them copies of the emails and texts the two exchanged. The emails were sent under the name "Tony Moore"—Ward, who told her his real name when they met in person, claimed he had to use an alias because of his sensitive position within the special ops.
The woman said she received an email from "Bob" on July 6. The email read, "He asked me to contact you if this ever happened. I am extremely sorry to tell you that he is gone. We tried everything we could to save him. I cannot say more. I am sorry it has to be this way."
Three days later, the distraught woman drove to Ward's Burke, Virginia home to pay her respects. There she learned Ward was very much alive and had moved to Connecticut to take command of a submarine.
The woman says she became physically ill, required hospitalization, and lost the baby.
None of the allegations have been proven. Ward is currently assigned to administrative duties.