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Corps' Huntington District commander relieved of duty

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Col. Steven McGugan has been relieved of command of the Huntington District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as the Army investigates "allegations of officer misconduct."

McGugan was relieved of command on Friday, Aug. 23, by Brig. Gen. Margaret Burcham, commander of the Corps' Great Lakes and Ohio River Division, the next level up the chain of command from the district level.

Col. David Patterson of the Army public affairs office confirmed Aug. 28 that McGugan had been relieved of command. He said Lt. Col. William Redding has temporarily assumed command of the Huntington District. Patterson would not say what the specific allegations against McGugan are.

McGugan assumed command of the Huntington District on July 20, 2012. As the district commander, he was responsible for carrying out the district's mission within the Ohio River Basin, which includes 311 navigable miles of the Ohio River in West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio, plus nine major tributaries, including the Kanawha, Little Kanawha and Big Sandy rivers.  The district covers 45,000 square miles in five states – West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Virginia and North Carolina — generally the area drained by the Ohio River between New Martinsville, W.Va., and Foster, Ky.

The district has a staff of more than 830 employees who support the district's mission to operate and maintain 35 multi-purpose reservoirs and 9 locks and dams, providing flood damage reduction, commercial navigation, recreation and water supply while protecting the environment. The district also has certain regulatory functions on the river.