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Pamela Powers Hannley

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'Sham' Marriage Allegations Arise Against Arizona Congressional Candidate Col. Martha McSally

Posted: 10/31/2012 10:49 pm

One person never mentioned on Republican Congressional candidate and Air Force Colonel Martha McSally's campaign website is her ex-husband and fellow Air Force officer Donald F. Henry.

Millions of middle-aged Americans carry baggage of a failed marriage with them. In McSally's case, there are allegations that the two-year marriage was a sham and that the sole purpose for the marriage was to grease the skids for an Air Force promotion in the late 1990s.

On McSally's campaign website, there is a reference to a promotion during that time frame.

In 1999, Martha was one of only seven active-duty Air Force officers selected for the prestigious Legislative Fellowship Program, working on Capitol Hill and serving as a national security advisor to Senator Jon Kyl on issues including terrorism, cyber security and missile defense.

According to Pima County court records, McSally and Henry were married in Tucson in 1997. Two years later on November 29,1999, McSally and her Tucson-based divorce lawyer traveled to Santa Cruz County--90 miles south of Tucson--to have the marriage annulled.

The Nogales, Arizona court document says that "the Court finds [sic] number of grounds for granting this annulment." In order to get an annulment in Arizona, there must be an "impediment that renders the marriage void."

According to the University of Arizona Family Law Research Guide, a "voidable" marriage is one in which there is "an undissolved prior marriage, one party being underage, a blood relationship, the absence of mental or physical capacity, intoxication, the absence of a valid license, duress, refusal of intercourse, fraud and misrepresentation as to religion."

Many questions surround the McSally/Henry marriage. Why an annulment and not a divorce? Why was the annulment in Santa Cruz County--which doesn't have online record searches--and not in Pima County where McSally and Henry both owned houses, where they were married, and where McSally's lawyer is based? Is there something to hide?

Was the McSally/Henry marriage one of convenience? In 1997-99, when McSally and Henry were married, Don't Ask Don't Tell was in full swing. Except for allowing both McSally and Henry to keep their respective houses and respective government retirement accounts, the annulment document shows very little division of property beyond a few knick-knacks, a truck, and credit card debt.

McSally--a former employee of Kyl, a long-time Arizona Senator--is running against Democrat Ron Barber, a former employee of Giffords in a race for Congressional District 2.

McSally's office refused an interview when contacted.

 

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