A former Marine running for state office in Pennsylvania was declared a deserter, despite touting his service throughout his campaign, according to a federal military document.
The document, obtained by The Scranton Times-Tribune, shows that former state Rep. Kevin Haggerty was absent without leave for two months from the Marines and ruled a deserter.
Haggerty, 44, a Democrat, is seeking election to the 112th state House district in Tuesday’s election against Republican Ernest Lemoncelli.
The newspaper obtained the document Thursday from the National Personal Records Center after filing two federal Freedom of Information Act requests. The document is reportedly a "chronological record" of Haggerty's Marine service.
A spokesman for Haggerty's campaign, meanwhile, told the paper that Haggerty "has not had a chance to review this document and is unable to comment."
Haggerty has made his military service a centerpiece of his campaign, using a photo of himself in Marine uniform in campaign literature, according to the paper.
On his official campaign website, Haggerty lists his service in the Marines from 1996 to 1998, and notes the "character of service" as "honorable."