February 19, 2014
Pentagon IG dings department historian for using ‘public office for private gain’
A recently released Pentagon inspector general’s report found that the department’s chief historian, Erin Mahan, “on occasion engaged in unprofessional conduct in the office” by “discussing personal medical issues. . . and speculating about an employee’s sexual orientation,” that “she directed two contract employees to plan, organize and execute” office social events and that she had those employees babysit when she brought her son to work and to “transport the child to and from daycare” — thus using her “public office for private gain.”
The IG also found that Mahan “improperly promised two subordinates” that each of them was in line to be the next deputy chief historian. In the report, Mahan dismissed the IG’s conclusions as based on “office gossip and uncorroborated hearsay.”
In response, the inspector general said that “we based our conclusions on the preponderance of the evidence” and “we stand by our conclusions.”
A Pentagon spokesman said last month that officials had taken unspecified “administrative action” in response to the report.
“I stand by my responses to the inspector general,” Mahan wrote. “There is no credence to any of the allegations except my momentary and isolated lapse of judgment early in my tenure of accepting help on four occasions from two contractor” historians for her “then pre-school-age son.”