The former commander of the Marines‘ Wounded Warrior Regiment will do jail time in a case centered around a downward spiral of misconduct that his defense attorneys attributed to severe combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder.
Col. T. Shane Tomko, 53, was sentenced to two months and a $20,000 fine, which was suspended to $10,000 after pleading guilty Friday to conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman, and violation of a lawful general order.
He admitted to sending inappropriate and sexual messages to a female corporal under his command at the Wounded Warrior Regiment, violating a series of military protective orders imposed on him by his command at Quantico, and appearing at a May 6 arraignment intoxicated with a .208 blood alcohol level, and driving under the influence. He also acknowledged the illegal use of prescription testosterone, which his defense attorneys said he needed and was later legally prescribed.
The May 6 appearance resulted in Tomko being ordered to the brig to await his trial; his 21 days of pretrial confinement will be counted against his sentence.
“Be well, and take care of yourself,” Military Judge Col. Pete Rubin told Tomko, as he read the sentence.
Tomko will serve his sentence at Naval Consolidated Brig Chesapeake, Virginia, where prosecuting attorneys said he could receive mental health treatment at the nearby Portsmouth Naval Hospital. He was permitted to remain on active duty.
In keeping with a pretrial agreement, more serious charges including abusive sexual contact and fraternization were withdrawn and all but $10,000 of his fine was suspended. He will also request retirement according to the agreement.
Witnesses who testified in Tomko’s defense, including four generals, used phrases like “meltdown,” “sudden decline” and “come off the rails” to describe the change they had observed in him over the 18 months, beginning prior to his relief from the Wounded Warrior Regiment due to loss of confidence in his ability to command.
Tomko, who was visibly holding back tears for much of the proceedings, spoke on his own behalf through sobs, struggling to remain coherent as he addressed his statement to his wife, Marine Lt. Col. Liza Tomko, who was present in the gallery. Read More