The Defense Department is investigating allegations that a Pentagon official forced her subordinates to run personal errands and removed those who voiced complaints, NBC News reported, citing five current and former Pentagon officials.
The investigation into Dana W. White, the assistant to the secretary of defense for public affairs, focuses on multiple allegations of misconduct and abuses of power reported by at least four current and former staffers from the Office of Secretary of Defense Public Affairs.
The top Pentagon official, Defense Secretary James Mattis, is known to routinely pick up his own dry cleaning, to wait in line at CVS to buy his own office supplies and to carry his own luggage when traveling. In contrast, White allegedly instructed her staff to make phone calls to a foster care facility about adopting a child, to fetch personal care items, dry cleaning and meals and to act as her personal chauffeur in inclement weather.
Pentagon ethics guidelines say that "a DoD official may not direct or request subordinates to use official time to perform any activities other than official activities."
The five current and former officials told NBC News on Tuesday that investigators are also looking into allegations that White, a Trump administration political appointee, removed at least four Department of Defense employees — both uniformed and civilian — and had them reassigned as acts of reprisal.