NewsCovering Colorado

Actions

Former Air Force cadet battling for his reputation for years hears from White House

Adam DeRito hopes he will get justice from the Air Force Academy
derito letter.jpg
Posted at 10:30 AM, Aug 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-03 12:30:19-04

DENVER — Back in February, Colorado Army National Guard Specialist Adam DeRito went public during a report by Denver7 Investigates asking for justice and a deeper investigation by the Air Force Academy ten years after he was stripped of his Air Force Academy diploma just hours before his graduation.

DeRito was told he wouldn't receive his degree for violating Academy rules for fraternizing with a subordinate. While he admits he wasn't a perfect cadet, DeRito previously told Denver7 he believes the real reason he was thrown out was because he "reported 30 perpetrators of sexual assault and rape at the Air Force Academy."

The decision by the Academy left DeRito on the hook for more than $200,000. Years later, he also discovered the Academy had put multiple mental health diagnoses on his record that he says were not accurate, which prevented him from entering helicopter training with the Colorado Army National Guard.

He’s spent more than a decade battling for his name, his integrity and his diploma. Now, DeRito’s vigilance may soon produce the result he desired.

A few weeks back, DeRito received a letter from the White House. In the letter, White House staff write that they have reviewed DeRito’s correspondence and forwarded it on to the appropriate Federal Agency for further action.

“What that means in layman's terms,” DeRito said, “is the President of the United States is forcing the Secretary of the Air Force to do his job.”

“This is a battle of gigantic forces on both sides,” said Herb Rubenstein, DeRito’s attorney. “This is Adam DeRito trying to explain what happened to him and what lies were told about him that stopped him from getting his degree the day before he was supposed to graduate. “

DeRito now hopes he will get justice from the Air Force Academy after nearly 11 years.

“It will mean everything," DeRito said. "It will mean the past 11 years of my life were for a purpose."

DeRito is currently a member of the Colorado National Guard, and he was entrusted to defend the Capitol just weeks after protesters stormed the building in January. He believes if he gets his diploma from the Air Force, it will restore his tarnished reputation, and it will also clear the way for him to become an officer.