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Air Force base official removed for allegedly mishandling complaints

West Gate entrance to Hill Air Force Base in Clearfield on Thursday, March 5, 2020.
West Gate entrance to Hill Air Force Base in Clearfield on Thursday, March 5, 2020.
Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — The director of the Hill Air Force Base’s Equal Employment Opportunity Office is out of a job after discouraging sexual harassment complaints, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel announced.

An investigation by the U.S. Air Force’s Material Command Office of Inspector General substantiated three whistleblower complaints about the former director’s behaviors. The former director’s name was not identified in the documents, and she was reassigned to another office.

The investigation said that the officer told one whistleblower that sexual harassment complaints against her supervisor “wouldn’t go anywhere.” The sexual harassment complaint was later substantiated, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel said.

The former director was also accused of illegally modifying or rejecting complaints and giving employees false or misleading information.

“I commend the whistleblowers for bravely coming forward to identify the violations of law, gross mismanagement, and abuses of authority at Hill Air Force Base,” Special Counsel Henry J. Kerner said. “Sexual harassment and discrimination cannot be tolerated on American military bases, and whistleblowers who come forward deserve fair treatment and due process. While this case exposed numerous legal violations and other egregious conduct, I am encouraged that the agency is taking steps to restore the integrity of its EEO process.”

The former director also reportedly denied a whistleblower the ability to remain anonymous and told one complainant that they were not entitled to file a complaint even though they were entitled to do so.