A senior National Security Agency official made inappropriate physical contact with women in the workplace, sent sexually explicit and racist messages over the agency's top secret network, and sent himself a sexually charged email from his female supervisor's NSA email account, reports BuzzFeed, which obtained a redacted copy of an Inspector General's report through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.
The official’s name at the center of the allegations was redacted from the report — "Misuse of Government Communications Systems and Conduct Unbecoming" — on privacy grounds. The document identifies him only as a “deputy chief” of a division within the NSA. The official retired from the agency after he was interviewed by investigators and confronted about his behavior, the report said. -BuzzFeed
The incidents date back to 2011, when the official began sending sexually explicit chat messages over the NSA's top secret communications network. When this came to light, he was ordered into counseling, while the Inspector General called the deputy chief's behavior "egregious" after a year of investigation.
"Subsequent to being disciplined, he did not cease his misconduct," the IG writes. Instead, the deputy chief "simply stopped misusing chat and relied solely on email to engage in inappropriate written exchanges with females, because he believed it was not monitored and he would not be caught."
Months later, the Inspector General received a complaint from an employee who called the deputy chief a "pathological social deviant," while accusing him of sexually harassing four women. The women testified that they did not feel sexually harassed, however they acknowledged that his behavior was "inappropriate."
The IG report also describes a pattern of abusive behavior by the official toward both NSA contractors and civilian personnel - including massaging the neck and shoulders of a woman he worked with, which she reported and said made her feel uncomfortable. The deputy chief "questioned women about their marital and parental status during job interviews; humiliated numerous women in staff meetings and in front of their supervisors; used an offensive, sexual acronym toward another woman in an email and on one occasion used a “racially-charged expression.”" according to BuzzFeed.
While the Deputy Chief denied that the sexual acronym - which was redacted from the IG report on privacy grounds - "could be considered offensive given its common usage in chat." That said, his refusal to explain the meaning of the acronym to the woman he emailed - telling her not to repeat it and to google it - suggested to the IG that he "was well aware such a term could be offensive and denigrating particularly when used in a Government communication."
According to the report, several other women complained about the deputy chief's behavior, however no action was taken by their superiors. In one case, he "misused" his female supervisor's NSA email account to send himself inappropriate messages of a sexual nature.
One woman, a contractor, had asked to be moved to another contract so she would not have to interact with the deputy chief. Another woman who was subjected to his abusive behavior during a staff meeting stopped attending the meetings. A third woman, who witnesses said was harassed by the deputy chief, “denied having been sexually harassed” and said the accusations leveled against him amounted to “jealousy.”
The deputy chief also engaged in at least one sexual relationship with a woman he supervised on a government contract. The investigation also found that the deputy chief “misused” his supervisor’s NSA email account to “send himself sexually suggestive and inappropriate emails.” He explained to investigators that he sent the two emails in order to teach the woman “to lock her computer,” an assertion the inspector general did not find credible, the report said. -BuzzFeed
The IG wrote that the fact that the deputy chief "would go so far as to continue to misuse" agency email systems "to send himself a sexually suggestive and inappropriate email is particularly concerning," adding that his "behavior calls into question his judgment and reliability and therefore his ability to effectively function as an Agency leader."
Eventually the IG concluded that the official's behavior did not rise to the level of sexual harassment, however he "used words that denigrate individuals, used offensive language, and engaged in other conduct that could affect his subordinates’ work performance or otherwise impact the work environment," in violation of agency rules.