By BRYAN RAHIJA
This just in from The Hill's John Bennett: the Pentagon's embattled top personnel official, Department of Defense Undersecretary for Personnel and Readiness Clifford Stanley, has resigned.
"Embattled?" you might wonder. Bennett's got you covered:
The Pentagon inspector general had been probing charges made by Pentagon employees that Stanley spent nearly $400,000 on an “incredibly extravagant” conference room and inserted an old friend into a senior post.
The whistleblowers also alleged that Stanley forced more than 20 senior executives out of his office and conducted electronic eavesdropping on employees.
Stanley “created a dysfunctional command marked by fear and mistrust through a capricious, tyrannical and arbitrary leadership,” according to a July 11 letter to the Pentagon inspector general. “Waste, fraud and abuse of power are rampant. Even if he were competent, his destructive leadership would assure [personnel and readiness office] mission failure.”
The same complaint also included this blunt assessment: “He is incompetent.”
As Bennett goes on to note, POGO published three anonymous complaints against Stanley and detailed their contents in August. POGO Director of Investigations Nick Schwellenbach is aware of at least eight complaints—and possibly more—against Stanley by his own staff. These complaints allege everything from run-of-the-mill incompetence to extravagant use of taxpayer funds to gutting the office of needed expertise.
You might not think those complaints figured into Stanley's resignation, however, if you just read excerpts from his bon voyage missive and official Pentagon statements.
"This letter is not about me," Stanley wrote in a letter to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. "It’s about the men and women we serve! I’m not ashamed to say that I love them all. It is with that thought that I am tendering my resignation."
Also witness the following statement by Doug Wilson, assistant secretary of Defense for public affairs:
Dr. Stanley was motivated above all by a sense of commitment to the highest standards of service to the men and women in uniform he served. He felt he had done his utmost to carry out the mandate he was given, and that he had arrived at the point where the next steps could be carried out most effectively by a successor. His decision to resign was his own.”
At any rate, a Defense Department press release explained that Stanley will remain on the job for about two more weeks, and that JoAnn Rooney, the principal deputy undersecretary for personnel and readiness, will serve as acting undersecretary until a successor is nominated and confirmed by the Senate.
Bryan Rahija edits POGO's blog.
Image via MilitaryHealth.