Report: Port Canaveral Navy captain relieved of duty for improper solicitation

By Ashley Annin, ClickOrlando.com staff
Published On: Feb 18 2014 04:36:40 PM EST

Florida Today

Capt. John P. Heatherington.

PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. -

After improperly soliciting raffle prizes that included those from a local adult-entertainment establishment, the Naval Ordnance Test Unit commander at Port Canaveral has been relieved of duty.

Local 6 news partner Florida Today reported that Capt. John P. Heatherington was relieved of duty Tuesday by Vice Adm. Terry Benedict, who is the director of Strategic Systems Programs.

A news release from the Navy stated that there was a loss of confidence in the former commander. The release also stated that Heatherington promoted an unprofessional command climate that was contrary to good order and discipline.

Heatherington failed to keep members of his command from wrongfully soliciting items of monetary value and accepting items of value from a company doing business with the Department of Defense, according to the release.

Heatherington is also cited as wrongfully affiliating the U.S. Navy with businesses that aren’t representative of the Navy and the Department of Defense’s high standards.

John Daniels, Navy spokesman, said the businesses cited were two local “adult-entertainment establishments,” though he declined to name them, according to Florida Today.

Deputy director for SSP Capt. Kevin R. Brenton has assumed Heatherington’s duties as commanding officer, and a permanent relief will report later this year. Heatherington’s reassignment is pending.

NOTU’s senior enlisted leader, Master Chief Petty Officer Eric Spindle, was relieved of his duties for similar reasons. Command Master Chief (SS) Victor Smith, SSP CMC, has taken over as senior enlisted leader for NOTU.

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