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Friday, July 30, 2004



Couple sues over
explicit photos


A former Schofield Barracks battalion commander who was recently relieved of his command says a couple destroyed his military career by distributing illegally obtained sexually explicit photos of his wife.

Lt. Col. Eric Criner and his wife, Sue, filed suit in Circuit Court on July 21, a week after he was relieved of command over the 17th Corps Support Battalion, one of five battalions assigned to the 45th Corps Support Group.

The complaint names Charles and Amy Fisher and A-Affordable Bail Bonds as defendants.

In the suit, the Criners allege that the Fishers, a couple they befriended in November and socialized with occasionally, obtained unauthorized access to Sue Criner's Web site and downloaded sexually explicit photos and her personal information using the bonding company's property. The photos were allegedly distributed to members of the U.S. Army.

The Criners allege that the Fishers acted maliciously and admitted they distributed the photos to have Criner removed as battalion commander and to ruin his wife's reputation.

Charles Fisher is office manager at the bonding company. His wife, Amy, is a sergeant under Criner's command.

Earle Partington, attorney for the Fishers and the bonding company, called the suit "utterly frivolous" and said his clients are outraged.

"I can't imagine why he would file this lawsuit and drag this dirty laundry out in public. It's got to be embarrassing for him and his wife," Partington said. "The only thing the Fishers did was turn over evidence of misconduct provided by the Criners" to the Army.

Criner's removal had nothing to do with the Fishers or the sexual allegations, although a weekend trip to Maui that the couples took was "icing on the cake," Partington said.

"Battalion commanders don't fraternize with sergeants," a violation punishable by court-martial and administrative action, he said. "Apparently, (Criner) ruined his own career."

It was the Criners who e-mailed the Fishers sexually explicit photos of Sue Criner and gave the Fishers a password to an adult Web site, Partington said.

Troy Griffin, 25th Infantry Division spokesman, declined to comment last night on the Criners' lawsuit. Griffin repeated a statement that he gave on Tuesday that "allegations against him (Criner) were investigated, and it was found that an unfortunate set of events affecting the good order and discipline of the unit had occurred and he was removed in a routine administrative action."


Star-Bulletin reporter Gregg Kakesako contributed to this report.

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