Walz responds to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS investigation into conduct of high-ranking National Guard officer

February 27, 2019 06:52 PM

Gov. Tim Walz responded Wednesday to a 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS investigation involving sex, lies and disgrace within the Minnesota National Guard.

On Sunday, KSTP-TV exposed how the Guard's top commander – Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen – allowed a high-ranking officer to retire honorably after he targeted and exploited women under his command.

RELATED: Sex, lies and disgrace: The honorable discharge of a commander in Minnesota's National Guard

Military records obtained by 5 EYEWINTESS NEWS showed Lt. Col. Michael Pazdernik - who is married - "violated army law and policy" when he had sexual relationships with at least four women directly under his command. 

He also "made a false statement under oath and equally egregious, pressured a female soldier to lie…" about the prohibited relationship," according to records

Jensen found Pazdnerik guilty last April of making false statements, adultery and conduct unbecoming of an officer.

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS asked Walz's office to watch the investigation because the Guard falls under his watch. 

"This report is deeply troubling," Walz said in statement. "As a 24-year veteran of the national guard and former ranking member of the U.S. House Committee on Veterans Affairs, I worked to keep members of our military safe from both internal and external threats – and I will continue to do so as governor. I know how important it is that we protect our soldiers so they can continue to protect us."

Walz's office declined to elaborate on any further plans the governor may have to address harassment issues inside the Guard.

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Eric Chaloux

Copyright 2019 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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