Navy Secretary H. Lawrence Garrett III says he never saw "any inappropriate or offensive conduct," when he plucked a beer from a hotel room linked with the service's Tailhook sex harassment case.

In the most complete description thus far of Garrett's activities at the 1991 Las Vegas convention, the Navy responded to an allegation that the secretary had spent some time in an area where 26 wom- en charge they were sexually abused.The statement was released after Navy, and Pentagon officials were asked if the secretary was under investigation by the Pentagon's inspector general in connection with the convention.

A Navy spokesman responded that Garrett is not being targeted in the new investigation into the matter.

"The secretary of the Navy is not the focus of the investigation, nor is his conduct a focus of the investigation" by the department's inspector general, said Cmdr. Mark Van Dyke.

Garrett, the Navy's top civilian leader, sought the review by the Pentagon's independent investigative office "to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest," a statement said.

More than 70 officers have been implicated in the matter associated with the Tailhook Association's 1991 convention at the Las Vegas Hilton.