Fort Carson hospital commander removed, post investigating 'inappropriate behavior'

September 5, 2013 Updated: September 6, 2013 at 1:12 pm

Col. John McGrath, commander of Fort Carson's Evans Army Community Hospital, has been removed from command over allegations that he engaged in what the post called inappropriate behavior.

A Fort Carson spokeswoman confirmed that he is under investigation but would not release further information.

An email sent to Evans staff Wednesday said, "There have been allegations made against Col. McGrath and an investigation is ongoing. He is in a suspended status until the investigation is complete. The Army takes all allegations seriously and this is a normal process that all Soldiers would go through."

The email alerting hospital staff was sent several hours after The Gazette contacted Fort Carson, asking about McGrath.

A longtime hospital employee who did not want his name used for fear of retribution said McGrath was escorted from the hospital Aug. 16 after allegations surfaced that a member of the hospital staff had been harassed. Investigators initially said McGrath would return after a two-week investigation, the employee said, but other hospital staff, including civilian doctors and uniformed staff, came forward, complaining of offensive remarks and unprofessional conduct.

The employee, who has direct knowledge of human resource issues, said a line of people waiting to talk to investigators formed in the hall of the hospital when investigators came in August, and he estimated the investigation now includes 30 complaints. McGrath, a doctor with 29 years in the Army, took command of the hospital in January 2012. He deployed twice to Iraq and has been awarded the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star and Meritorious Service Medal.

While McGrath is on administrative suspension, Col. Thomas Rogers is commanding the hospital.

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