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Top officer relieved of duties at Cuba base

MIAMI -- The commanding officer of the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was relieved of his duties yesterday, after he was accused of inappropriate management practices, officials said.

The officer, Captain Leslie J. McCoy, who had commanded Guantanamo since March 2003, was the subject of an investigation into inappropriate personnel and administrative practices unrelated to the base's detention camp for suspected terrorists.

''His release and reassignment are in no way related to the detainee operations taking place in Guantanamo," said C. Patrick Dooling, spokesman for Navy Southeast Region in Jacksonville. He would not elaborate on the allegations.

McCoy was relieved of his duties Saturday by Rear Admiral Annette E. Brown, the region commander, who had ''lost confidence in his ability to effectively lead," Dooling said.

McCoy will be transferred to the staff in Jacksonville. Captain Lawrence S. Cotton, chief of staff of the Navy region, will command the base until a permanent replacement is named.

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