The United States Army Reserve is investigating North Carolina Senate candidate James Calvin “Cal” Cunningham III, a lieutenant colonel who is alleged of having an extramarital affair in potential violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).
“The Army Reserve is investigating the matters involving Lt. Col. James Cunningham. As such, we are unable to provide further details at this time,” Army Reserve spokesman Lt. Col. Simon Flake said in a statement Wednesday morning.
The acknowledgment that the Army Reserve is looking into his behavior could cast a cloud over Cunningham’s image as well as career in the military, since extramarital affairs are prohibited and punishable under the UCMJ.
Nationalfile.com first reported that Cunningham and a public relations executive, Arlene Guzman Todd, exchanged sexually-charged text messages that talked about kissing and more.
On Tuesday, Guzman Todd confirmed that they had an affair and more text messages emerged that indicated the two engaged in sexual intercourse in Cunningham’s family home, and that she had nude photos of him and had jokingly told a friend she would send them to his opponent if he continued ignoring her.
In a statement to the Associated Press, Guzman Todd apologized for the “pain and embarrassment, and disrespect I’ve caused to my immediate family, loved ones, and everyone affected by this situation.”
“A few months back, I displayed a lapse in judgment by engaging in a relationship with Cal Cunningham during a period of marital separation,” she said. “The relationship spanned several months and consisted primarily of a series of text exchanges and an in-person encounter.”
Guzman Todd is married to an Army combat veteran who deployed to war five times.
Cunningham, himself a married father of two, has also confirmed the texts are authentic. He said in a statement last week, “I have hurt my family, disappointed my friends, and am deeply sorry. The first step in repairing those relationships is taking complete responsibility, which I do. I ask that my family’s privacy be respected in this personal matter.”
Some legal experts say Cunningham only violated UCMJ if he was on active duty at the time. Reservists are usually on active duty one weekend a month and two weeks out of the year, although that can vary depending on the reservist and his or her circumstance.