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Vice President’s Son Discharged from Navy for Cocaine Use, Keeps License to Practice Law

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On Thursday, it was revealed that Vice President Joe Biden’s youngest son, 44-year-old Hunter Biden, was released from the Navy in February, after he tested positive for cocaine use.

In a statement from Hunter Biden’s lawyer, he said:

It was the honor of my life to serve in the U.S. Navy and I deeply regret and am embarrassed that my actions led to my administrative discharge. I respect the navy’s decision. With the love and support of my family I’m moving forward.

Hunter Biden graduated from Yale with a law degree, and he currently works in Washington as the private equity executive and board director of an international energy firm, in addition to practicing law in Connecticut.

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Yahoo News reported that Biden, “faces no automatic review of his law license in Connecticut following his discharge from the U.S. Navy Reserve after testing positive for cocaine use.

According to Connecticut’s Statewide Bar Counselor, Michael P. Bowler, lawyers in Connecticut face automatic review of their bar admission only when they have been convicted of a crime.

At this point, I’m not aware that Mr. Biden has been arrested for anything, and certainly not convicted,” Bowler said.

According to Business Insider, Biden was “commissioned as a Navy ensign May 7, 2013 and assigned as a public affairs officer at a reserve unit” in Norfolk, Virginia. However, one month after he checked into his new unit, he failed a regular drug test, and was discharged in February.

USA Today reported that, according to the commander of the Navy Public Affairs Support Element based in Norfolk, Capt. Jack Hanzlik, “There should have been no question in Hunter Biden’s mind about the possibility of a random drug test.”

All sailors would be advised of the zero-tolerance policies when reporting aboard,” said Hanzlik. “And they would be advised of the testing practices of the organization, as well.”

Regarding the fact that Biden tested positive for cocaine in June 2013, but was not discharged until February 2014, Hanzlik said, “Until an issue like that is adjudicated, the member continues to serve.”

Drug tests are given to both active and reserve members, at least once a year, scanning for everything from marijuana to heroin to cocaine.

Although Hanzlik said it was a random process, he explained that for members of the military, “The expectation, always, is that you need to be ready. Because you could have to give a sample today, you might have to give a sample again tomorrow. And two weeks from now, you might have to give a sample.

We have this kind of conversation with our sailors all the time — about expectations for performance,” said Hanzlik. “Expectations for standards. Reliability on one another.

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