Timothy R. McVeigh
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- This article is about the U.S. Navy sailor. For the Oklahoma City bomber, see Timothy James McVeigh.
In 1998 the Navy alleged that McVeigh had declared his homosexuality on his publicly available America Online e-mail account with screen name "boysrch". The Navy contacted AOL, pretending to be a friend of McVeigh's, and requested the name behind the screen name "boysrch." AOL confirmed that his profile indicated his marital status was "gay".
McVeigh challenged the Navy's decision to discharge him on the grounds that his AOL profile did not amount to a declaration of homosexuality, and furthermore that the Navy acted improperly by investigating the AOL account without a court order or a warrant. The Federal Court held that the government violated the Electronic Communications Privacy Act and issued a preliminary injunction preventing the government from discharging McVeigh. The Court also determined that the Navy violated its own "Don't Tell, Don't Pursue" policy.
The case was settled in June 1998. The Navy did not admit any wrongdoing. McVeigh was able to retire at the rank of Master Chief Petty Officer with full benefits and the Navy paid for his legal fees. In a separate settlement, AOL agreed to pay damages to McVeigh for having improperly disclosed his identity.
McVeigh said he planned to retire to civilian life before Labor Day 1998.
- Rich, Frank (25 January 1998). "The Two Tim McVeighs". Tulsa World: 6.
- Napoli, Lisa (1998-01-09). "Sailor Says Navy Is Using AOL Profile to Oust Him". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-11-07.
- "Navy settles lawsuit over "don". Las Vegas Review - Journal: 11A. 13 June 1998.
- Sporkin, Stanley (1998-01-26). "Timothy R. McVeigh v. William S. Cohen, et al.". Retrieved 2010-10-09.
- "GAY SAILOR ACCEPTS EARLY RETIREMENT OFFER". Greensboro News Record: A8. 13 June 1998.