Pentagon’s missile chief photographed female employee’s buttocks and massaged another woman’s neck, according to Inspector General’s probe into seven years of sexual harassment claims
- MDA Executive Director John James sexually harassed two female employees over the course of seven years, a report released on Wednesday says
- One woman claimed he took a photograph of her buttocks as she walked to a food stand in 2014 but he denied it
- Another woman claimed he massaged her neck twice while the door to his office was closed and said, ‘I love this’
- James also denied that claim and says the accusations stem from being ‘disgruntled’ about being denied a promotion
- He resigned earlier this year amid the probe
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Executive Director John James photographed the buttocks of one woman according to the IG report released Wednesday
The former civilian head of the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency sexually harassed two female employees over the course of seven years, a report released on Wednesday says.
Executive Director John James photographed the buttocks of one woman and on two occasions massaged the neck of a woman he was mentoring while the door to his office was closed.
Both women say the inappropriate actions and comments from the high-ranking boss was unwanted.
The Inspector General began an investigation into the claims and amid the probe James resigned earlier this year, Bloomberg reported.
Investigators looked into 21,800 emails, messages and documents obtained from devices.
‘There’s a modicum of truth in the interactions, but no intent for sexual harassment, or favors, or anything of that nature,’ he told investigators, USA Today reported.
The publication obtained the report under the Freedom of Information Act and it has been added to James’ file.
James said he was attempting to ‘mentor’ the women.
One woman claimed he massaged her neck twice while the door to his office was closed and said, ‘I love this’. The Pentagon is pictured
James was a mentor to the woman who claimed he massaged her neck and that he simultaneously said, ‘I love this.’
She soon cut off the mentoring relationship and eventually resigned, which was in part due to James’ behavior, USA Today reported.
James denies massaging her neck. He claimed the complaints are a result of a disgruntled employee overlooked for promotion.
James did not directly manage the woman who claimed that he took a photograph of her buttocks in 2014 while using her mobile device as they walked to a food stand.
That woman immediately deleted the image and reported the incident to her supervisor.
Vice Adm. John Hill, plans to share his personal concern with the women ‘subjected to misconduct by the most senior civilian in the agency and offer them his and the Agency’s full protection, support and assistance’
She claimed that for seven years he ‘repeatedly sought out and made deliberate, unwelcomed physical contact’ with her, despite having no reason to be in professional contact.
Among the complaints were shaking her hand for a prolonged period of time – actions a witness described as ‘odd and creepy.’
James asked the woman for her cell number and took her to the dance floor at agency events. In 2018 James told the woman he had been ‘chasing her for seven years.’
‘I could get fired. He’s someone who’s so much higher than I am,’ she said about her reluctance to complain.
A supervisor told the investigators about James’ conduct, ‘It’s just wrong.’
‘Mr. James told us that his contacts with (the woman) were part of a mentoring relationship,’ the report states. ‘However, we found no evidence to support his assertion.’
An agency spokesperson told USA Today that director, Vice Adm. John Hill, plans to share his personal concern with the women ‘subjected to misconduct by the most senior civilian in the agency and offer them his and the Agency’s full protection, support and assistance.’