As always, the world is making this feature all too easy.
This week we not only turn to the military, but we have a winner with a Connecticut connection.
This week’s JERK OF THE WEEK is
This story is breaking on a lot of news outlets right now, and there are various reports, but it appears that Mr. Ward, the commander of the U.S.S. Pittsburgh, based in Groton, and a married man with children, was involved in an extramarital affair. Now that may make him a jerk, but it’s the unique way he went about ending his relationship—and a fraudulent identity that came with it—that earns him this week’s honor …
That’s right. When faced with a bad situation, he faked his death….
From The Day of New London:
The two met on a dating website in October. Ward, 43, who is married with children, told her he was separated and that he worked in “special ops,” she said. He actually worked for the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon.
They saw each other during the week while he attended the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Va., and spent a weekend together in Williamsburg, Va., in November, the report said. They spoke over the phone and emailed through June.
Ward sent her emails using the name Tony Moore, explaining that he had to use the name because of his position in the special forces, she said.
In March, he wrote, “we are forever nothing will stop that.” She said she loved him.
In the last email before Ward faked his death, “Tony Moore” wrote on June 23, “You look absolutely gorgeous!!!!! Miss you like crazy. I was out doing things – have to go back out tomorrow. Hope you got the window fixed!!!! I love you like crazy.”
Then, on July 6, in an effort to end the relationship, Ward sent an email from a fictitious co-worker, Bob, who claimed that Ward had unexpectedly died.
“He asked me to contact you if this ever happened,” the email says. “I am extremely sorry to tell you that he is gone. We tried everything we could to save him. I cannot say more. I am sorry it has to be this way.”
The email goes on to say, “He loved you very much.”
According to The Day story, the woman discovered the deception when she went to Ward’s house to “pay her respects” to the family, and instead learned that he was very much alive—and with his family—in Gales Ferry, Connecticut. She also discovered she was pregnant with Capt. Jerk’s child and confronted him, but subsequently lost the baby. When the love boat finally sank, she went to the Navy and Ward admitted to his “egregious” conduct.
The erstwhile Tony Moore has been relieved of his command and severely reprimanded, and is now doing administrative duties. He wasn’t make to walk the plank, nor was he thrown in the brig, but I’m sure he’s feeling like he’s had his battleship sunk. But hey, that’s the price to pay when you act like a jerk.
If you want to act like a jerk, or just read about them, sail into your local bookstore or surf on over to Amazon.com for you copy of Speaking Ill of the Dead: Jerks in Connecticut History. Ahoy!