Col. Robert G. Petit, commander of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit at Camp Lejeune, N.C., was relieved of command Saturday following his arrest a week ago in connection with a theft at Walmart in Jacksonville.
The decision by II Marine Expeditionary Force commander Lt. Gen. John M. Paxton to fire Petit “followed a Marine Corps inquiry into the facts relating to Petit’s Jan. 29, 2011 arrest by the Jacksonville Police Department for misdemeanor larceny,” according to a Saturday evening press release from Paxton’s office.
Petit was relieved “due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command,” the release said.
Petit, 50, who took command of the 24th MEU in September, was detained by Jacksonville police shortly after 5 p.m. Jan. 29, and charged with one count of misdemeanor larceny for allegedly stealing printer ink and STP fuel cleaner worth about $65, according to police and court documents.
He is scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 22.
As a lieutenant colonel, Petit led Camp Lejeune’s 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines, during combat deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq.
Petit is a native of New Orleans, according to a Marine Corps news release, which also notes that the MEU is scheduled to deploy in early 2012.