Friday, April 11, 2008

Lieutenant Commander Rebecca Dickinson - there's moonlighting, and then there's moonlighting

Many of us are employed at one primary job, and our main responsibility is to satisfy the needs of that particular employer. While we may receive income from other sources, our primary employer often asks for some level of control over our other sources of income.

For example, if I were a full-time employee of Oracle's database group (I'm not), I would probably get into a bit of hot water if I were to consult for IBM's DB2 group.

Similarly, some employers frown upon illegal activities. While a California state medical marijuana facility might not be particularly worried about an employee who breaks Federal anti-marijuana laws, other employers might be a little more skittish about someone who breaks the law.

Let's look at Lieutenant Commander Rebecca Dickinson:

Lt. Cmdr. Rebecca Dickinson told federal prosecutors at U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., that she had sex with nearly every client she met while working for Deborah Jeane Palfrey from October 2005 until April 2006.

Her employer, the U.S. Navy, didn't take kindly to this:

Navy spokesman Capt. Jack Hanzlik told Navy Times that Dickinson, 38, was fired from her position as an instructor at Naval Supply Corps School in Athens, Ga., earlier this month after she gave detailed information about her involvement in the case to superiors....

Hanzlik said the Navy first found out that Dickinson was a potential witness in the case in May 2007 and began sharing information with federal prosecutors, but in deference to federal prosecutors, the service declined to launch an investigation at that time.

I first heard about this story on Bill Handel's radio show on KFI this morning, where the participants wondered what stage name was used by Lieutenant Commander Dickinson. They figured that she used the name "Lieutenant Commander Trixie." They were wrong.

Palfrey told Navy Times last year that Dickinson worked for her company, Pamela Martin and Associates, under the stage name Renee for nearly two years while she was stationed at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.

The Post Chronicle sums up the story this way:

If you had relations with Renee from the Pamela Martin Agency. You may have been screwing the U.S. Navy without knowing it. That was the 'nom de shag' of Lt. Cmdr. Rebecca Dickinson.

And, for those who are interested, has her picture here (safe for work).

So how does a Lieutenant Commander end up in the world's oldest profession?

A Navy officer familiar with the case...said Dickinson’s decision might have been motivated by financial issues — she had filed for bankruptcy in the months before she responded to an advertisement placed by Palfrey in a local newspaper. Palfrey told Navy Times the woman had difficulty caring for her three children, missed work frequently because one had been sick, and had marital problems.

TheNicheBlogger's reaction to Dickinson's financial problems?

I definitely think the military needs to give raises.

John Cole thinks this is typical of government:

We have a long national history of people for money, so I don’t see what the big deal is. Dickinson should get a Medal of Freedom.

In the comments to John Cole's post, shortstop suspects a double standard:

This is perfectly consistent with the thousands upon thousands of male officers the Navy has put on unpaid leave for having sex with prostitutes. What? Oh.

Well, illicit sex has been going on in Washington for some time - remember Elizabeth Ray? But this just serves as a reminder that some forms of moonlighting are frowned upon.

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