- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 25, 2021

The U.S. Navy’s former chief financial auditor sexually harassed at least a dozen female employees in a “pervasive and egregious pattern” over more than 20 years, a Pentagon watchdog agency said.

Ronnie J. Booth, the former auditor general of the Navy, engaged in quid pro quo propositions of Naval Audit Service employees, requesting sexual favors in exchange for career advancement, according to the recently released report by the Department of Defense Inspector General’s office.

“Mr. Booth‘s propositions and frequent inappropriate interactions with women created an intimidating, hostile and offensive work environment,” the report stated.

The investigators said Mr. Booth would offer to mentor female employees, then suggest they meet outside of work hours when he would make “inappropriate advances.”

At least seven of the employees either left the Naval Audit Service or asked to be reassigned because of his behavior, according to the report.

The investigation was initiated in July 2019. Former acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas B. Modly was cleared of failing to comply with Department of Defense and Navy policies when informed of the allegations, Department of Defense IG officials said.

After filing their report, the DoD inspectors recommended it be reviewed by the current acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Harker so he can “take appropriate action.” But it’s unclear what sanctions Mr. Booth could face because he left government service shortly after the investigation began.

DoD IG officials said Mr. Booth declined to respond other than what he told them in the interviews.

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