Navy submarine commander removed after probe

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BANGOR, Wash. (AP) -- The Navy says the commanding officer of a fast attack submarine homeported in Washington state has been relieved of duty after an investigation into the mishandling of classified information.

According to a Navy announcement, Cmdr. Michael Varney was reassigned Monday for violating a general order, making a false official statement and for wrongful interference in an adverse administrative proceeding.

The 45-year-old Varney, of Kittery Point, Maine, took command of the USS Connecticut in February 2009.

Cmdr. Christy Hagen is spokeswoman for Submarine Force Pacific. She tells the Kitsap Sun that she can't talk about the classified information but adds Varney had no malicious intent. In her words, "He just failed to live up to the meticulous standards we have for control of classified material."

Capt. Benjamin Pearson has temporarily taken command of the Connecticut, homeported at Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton.

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Information from: Kitsap Sun, http://www.kitsapsun.com/