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Two Colorado Soldiers' Advocates Sue For Access To Fort Carson

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Claiming that they’ve been illegally barred from entering a base south of Colorado Springs, Robert Alvarez and Georg-Andreas “Andrew” Pogany have filed suit in U.S. District Court.

The complaint alleges that in November 2012, an order issued by Fort Carson officials barred Alvarez and Pogany from entering the base because their presence was disruptive “to the good order and discipline of the installation.” It argues that Col. David Grosso, commander of Fort Carson’s Garrison, issued that order.

The 21-page document continues:

COL GROSSO gave no explanation of what actions ALVAREZ and POGÁNY allegedly took that disrupted “the good order and discipline” of Fort Carson. This order prevented, and continues to prevent, ALVAREZ and POGÁNY from entering Fort Carson for any reason, even as trial support for criminal defense attorneys in courts-martial. This order also prevented, and continues to prevent, ALVAREZ and POGÁNY from contacting military personnel and contractors on Fort Carson.

The case requests a judgment declaring the debarment as “arbitrary, irrational, unpredictable and discriminatory.” It asks that Pogany and Alvarez’s access to the base be restored, and requests for the defendants to pay the plaintiff’s attorney fees.

Maren Chaloupka, an attorney representing the plaintiffs, said her clients requested review of the decision by various military agencies.

“Because that was unsuccessful we’ve stepped outside of that venue and asked for the independent review of the federal district court,” she said.

Chaloupka finds this type of case very unusual, adding that it has little direct precedent in the courts.

When reached for comment, Fort Carson said it will not discuss any pending litigation.

Alvarez and Pogany have worked for years advocating for active duty and military veterans in Colorado. Their investigations into less than honorable discharges were referenced in a Pulitzer prize-winning investigation by the Colorado Springs Gazette.

In 2010, KUNC interviewed Pogany about the case of Sgt. Shawn Lynch, who was fighting for recognition of a traumatic brain injury that Lynch said happened during his second deployment to Iraq.

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