A Navy commander who said her career was ended after accusations of an affair with a married officer is now able to share her side of the story.
Lt. Cmdr. Syneeda Penland was decorated for her military service in San Diego. However, after nearly 20 years in the Navy, it all came to a close when she was accused and convicted of adultery -- a devastating violation of the military's code of conduct.
Several pictures were thought to be the smoking gun that proved Penland had an affair with another officer. However, Penland has always maintained that it was a lie to cover up a conspiracy.
"I started to uncover a lot of financial improprieties," said Penland, who can now speak about her case after a gag order was lifted.
Penland told 10News Navy commanders were giving Navy contracts to retired naval officers who worked as military contractors.
"They were giving work to their buddies
and they still are," she said.
Penland said her commanding officers gave her an ultimatum "to just basically stop asking questions, and I did not. I refused to."
A lawsuit details how Penland accused her command of "allowing civilians to work on sensitive Navy projects" and "misusing war funds."
She is suing the Navy for $20 million for the "loss of her ability to work in the field of her choosing."
Navy officials had little to say about the lawsuit and did not comment for this story.
"What I want out of all of this, at the end of the day, is better protection for military whistleblowers. If they don't give me a dime, at this point I really don't want it," said Penland.
The officer Penland was accused of cheating with also denied the affair. He is still in the Navy.
Recently, the Naval Inspector General found that some of Penland's claims have merit.
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