Sub CO who faked death to break up with pregnant girlfriend given letter of reprimand

Posted at 7:13 PM, Sep 19, 2012
and last updated 2012-09-20 02:20:29-04

The Navy says his actions were egregious, dishonest and deceptive, but Commander Michael Ward still has a job, working administrative duties for Submarine Group 2, after faking his own death to break up with his mistress.

The woman at the center of it all still has not gone public with her name, but we know she lives right here in Chesapeake, VA and works as a banker.

She shared her story with "The Day" newspaper in Connecticut, saying the relationship started back in October on a dating website.

Ward told the Chesapeake woman he was "separated" and was in "special ops."

In actuality, he was married, with two kids, and worked in a staff job at the Pentagon.

The couple's first meeting took place in Norfolk while Ward was training at Joint Forces Staff College.

Throughout their relationship, the two rendezvoused around Hampton Roads, even visiting a bed and breakfast in Williamsburg.

That all ended with a June 6th email from a man named Bob, supposedly a co-worker of Commander Ward's.

"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."

A Navy investigation later revealed it was Ward himself who sent the email, but she didn’t know it at the time.

The woman says she drove up to her lover’s home in Northern Virginia to pay her respects--that's when the new owner told her Ward did not die, he just moved up to Connecticut to take command of a submarine.

Around the same time, she found out she was pregnant.

Ward, back from the dead, did meet with her one more time to talk about their baby, but she says she miscarried soon after, and he broke off the relationship yet again.

It was one of her family members that reported him to a Navy Judge Advocate just days before he took over command of the USS Pittsburgh.

NCIS started investigating, and he was fired from his Commanding Officer job after just 7 days.

At a September 5th Admiral’s Mast, Navy leaders found Ward guilty of dereliction of duty, conduct unbecoming an officer and adultery.

The Navy says no actions have been taken yet to remove Ward from service and he only received a letter of reprimand.

Ward is one of 16 commanding officers fired this year for personal misconduct.

22 were fired last year.