The Honorable Sean O’Donnell
Acting Inspector General
U.S. Department of Defense – Office of Inspector General
4800 Mark Center Drive
Alexandria, VA 22350-1500
Dear Mr. O’Donnell,
We are writing to inquire into the status of your investigation into allegations of sexual harassment committed by Mr. Ronnie J. Booth, the Navy’s former Auditor General. Last September, Mr. Booth resigned rather than face the consequences that may have stemmed from Navy and Department of Defense Inspector General (DOD-IG) investigations initiated after Representative Speier wrote to the Navy inquiring about whistleblowers’ allegations against him. Despite Mr. Booth’s resignation, your office pledged to continue investigating his alleged pattern of harassment, retaliation, and hostility in the workplace and related concerns, including whether Navy leadership knew of these allegations and seriously investigated them prior to elevating Mr. Booth to Auditor General.
Though we are pleased that your office is conducting an examination into Mr. Booth’s behavior and Navy leaderships’ handling of his case, we are deeply concerned by the timeline of the investigation. This investigation began on July 26, 2019. We understand the issues involved are complex, but we also believe that the whistleblowers who took significant risks to raise concerns about Mr. Booth deserve timely action on their concerns. Congress and the public also need additional insight into senior leaders’ actions, since leadership must be held responsible for combatting sexual harassment and assault in the workplace.
Please reply with your estimate for when you will complete the investigation, any interim findings, and the reasons for the delay. Please write to Mitchel Hochberg in Sen. Gillibrand’s office at Mitchel_Hochberg@gillibrand.senate.gov or Brian Collins in Rep. Speier’s office at Brian.Collins@mail.house.gov with any materials or questions.
Jackie Speier, United States Representative
Kirsten Gillibrand, United States Senator
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