The following is the Oct. 10, 2018, report, “Department of Defense Inspector General Report of Investigation: John M. Richardson, Admiral, U.S. Navy,” as well as statements on the investigation from Richardson and Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer, provided to USNI News.
From the report
Oct. 10, 2018 — We initiated an investigation that assessed Navy Admiral John M. Richardson’s response to sexual harassment and sexual assault allegations against a member of his personal staff. We reviewed a preliminary inquiry and three U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service reports of investigation involving the personal staff officer. We interviewed 17 witnesses, reviewed more than 25,000 official e-mails, and reviewed legal documents that proposed courses of action Navy leadership could take in response to the personal staff member’s actions. Additionally, we visited the daily workspaces of the alleged victims, the personal staff member, and the offices of Navy leadership, all located in the Pentagon, to understand the physical locations and proximity of the alleged victims to the personal staff officer.
We determined that Navy leadership took action to investigate the allegations during the initial period after learning of the first allegation against Admiral Richardson’s personal staff officer. However, we concluded that after the investigations and legal reviews were completed, and Admiral Richardson made his decision to remove the personal staff officer from his position, he did not take sufficient action to ensure that his decision was implemented in a timely manner.
We considered Admiral Richardson’s failure to ensure that the personal staff officer was removed from his position and reassigned in a timely way to be a performance issue, and that his actions or inaction did not violate any applicable standards in effect at the time, and did not constitute misconduct. However, we recommended that the Secretary of the Navy review Admiral Richardson’s performance in light of the information presented in our report. We also recommended that the Navy revise Naval Military Personnel Manual 1611-010 to include a timeliness requirement for reassignments of personal staff officers who are the subjects of investigations.
Statement from the Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer:
“Adm. Richardson has done an outstanding job as the Chief of Naval Operations building a stronger and more ready to fight Navy. I’m completely confident in his abilities and know that he will continue to fight every day for a more lethal force. We have reviewed and discussed his actions in this chain of events. What he has learned from this experience he will pass on to the next generation of leaders, making the Navy even stronger.”
Statement from the Chief of Navy Operations Adm. John Richardson:
“It’s appropriate for this office that matters are fully investigated and I appreciate the level of scrutiny with which the DODIG approached this matter. I learned a great deal from the experience. In particular, I should have moved more quickly to bring matters to a close and to avoid any unintended messaging to the Navy and especially to survivors. I’ve made changes to Navy policy so that in the future, senior leaders will benefit from these lessons.”