Ex-Astronaut Lisa Nowak May be Dishonorably Discharged from Navy
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (CBS/AP) In addition to Lisa Nowak's dismissal from NASA, a Navy review panel has recommended that the ex-astronaut be discharged from her post in the Navy as a result of her 2007 arrest in which she drove 1,000 miles to assault a romantic rival at an airport.
Three admirals reviewed Nowak's case Thursday at the Naval Air Station in Jacksonville and unanimously decided it would be best to give the 47-year-old captain a discharge of "other than honorable" and downgrade her current rank to commander.
The recommendation will now be reviewed by the Naval Personnel Command, and the final decision is in the hands of the Secretary of the Navy.
If the recommendation is accepted, Nowak's pension will be affected negatively because she will have assumed the role of a lesser rank, and she will no longer be eligible for benefits under the GI bill.
Until then, she will continue to serve on the staff of the chief of Naval Air Training in Texas.
Nowak who flew in a space shuttle mission in 2006 was sentenced to a year on probation in November after pleading guilty to third-degree felony burglary and misdemeanor battery.
The charges stem from a February 2007 encounter in which Nowak drove from Houston to the Orlando International Airport to confront Colleen Shipman, the woman who had begun dating Nowak's love interest, former space shuttle pilot Bill Oefelein.
Surreptitiously disguised in a trenchcoat and wig, Nowak followed Shipman to the parking lot, attempted to get into her car, and then sprayed her with pepper spray.
Luckily, Shipman was able to drive away.
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