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Pentagon's Top Rep Probed Over Alleged Misuse of Staff

Dana White allegedly had staffers fetch her drycleaning, buy her pantyhose
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 15, 2018 10:15 AM CDT
In this April 14, 2018, file photo, Pentagon chief spokesperson Dana White takes questions during a media availability at the Pentagon.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

(Newser) – The story of an allegedly inappropriate boss is garnering national headlines due to who she is: the Pentagon's top spokeswoman. CNN reports the Defense Department Office of Inspector General has been investigating Dana White, the assistant to the secretary of defense for public affairs, for a number of weeks after subordinates filed complaints about her alleged misuse of staff. They allege that she tasked them with errands like picking up dry cleaning, buying her pantyhose, fetching her lunch from the cafeteria, arranging hairdresser appointments, calling a California foster care facility to discuss adoption, and assisting with her mortgage paperwork in violation of Pentagon ethics standards, which prohibit officials from assigning personnel to non-official activities.

CNN points out that some staffers did the errands willingly, but that the standards don't distinguish between voluntary and non-voluntary non-official work. CNN reports two staffers claim that after complaining about their situation to higher-ups in May 2018 they were subsequently transferred in what they view as a retaliatory move; NBC News sources say it's actually four staffers, at least one of whom was moved to a "lower-profile job." The AP reports the Pentagon acknowledged the "ongoing review" in a statement but didn't elaborate. It notes White's office has experienced a high turnover rate, with four different military assistants working under her over a 16-month period. (Read more Dana White stories.)

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