TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The long-time commander of the New Jersey National Guard is resigning in disgrace, after being caught with a female aide.
Late Thursday afternoon, Gov. Chris Christie said he was accepting the resignation of Maj. Gen. Glenn Rieth, the man who has led the state’s National Guard for nearly a decade.
A sex scandal involving a woman who works for him caused him to quit. It was at the Trenton National Guard headquarters, where the Associated Press reports the married father of two and his aide were in a “compromising position.” The two were “caught in his office last month touching each other.”
Sources tell CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer the incident has been under investigation since early last month.
Rieth was a prominent member of Christie’s cabinet, a childhood friend of the governor’s who had commanded more than 9,000 soldiers and airmen in the Garden State’s Guard.
Officials said it was unclear if Rieth and the woman were having an affair or whether there were other incidents. The woman is married and she and her husband are social friends of the major general.
Rieth had first been appointed to the position by Democratic Gov. James McGreevey, who had his own sex scandal involving a male cabinet member.
In accepting his resignation, Gov. Christie said: “This is obviously a difficult time for his family and General Rieth did the right thing by stepping down to address this as a personal matter.”
And although they were childhood friends, Rieth apparently did not go to the governor until after the Army started its investigation.
Rieth’s resignation becomes effective on Dec. 15. His replacement has not been named.
Rieth’s Trenton office was all locked up and dark Thursday night. So was his Ewing home, where there were no lights on and no answer at the door.
Neighbor Alden French said he has said hello to Rieth nearly every day for the past 15 years.
“I’m just shocked. I don’t know what to say,” French told CBS 2′s Sean Hennessey. “They seemed like such a happy family. You know they were always together, they’d do things together. I just don’t understand it.”
French wasn’t alone.
“He’s a great guy. He’s a wonderful man,” neighbor Bridget Kovacs said.
“I just wish him and his family and the other family well. It’s got to be hard,” neighbor Lynne Nelson said.
A man, who reportedly was having an affair with a married woman, is now faced with a hard way to end to what was an unblemished military career.
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