PROVIDENCE, R.I.— The head of the U.S. Naval War College was removed from his post Monday, days after The Associated Press reported he was under investigation amid allegations of mismanagement.
The Navy announced the reassignment of Rear Adm. Jeffrey Harley, who has been criticized for allegedly spending excessively, abusing his hiring authority and otherwise behaving inappropriately — including keeping a margarita machine in his office.
Lt. Cmdr. Jacqueline Pau said Monday that Navy leaders felt the change is best for the college because it maintains the integrity of the investigation. Pau, the spokeswoman for Adm. John Richardson, the chief of naval operations, said it would ensure that Harley is afforded due process.
Inspector general investigations, across the Defense Department, routinely take months or more than a year. Provost Lewis M. Duncan has temporarily assumed the president’s duties.
Harley later announced his departure to campus by saying he was "stepping down."
"Team_this will be my last email to you," Harley wrote. "Due to the distractions caused by the unfounded AP article last week, I am stepping down as President of YOUR college effective immediately."
Asked to clarify, college spokesman Cmdr. Gary Ross told the AP on Monday that Harley was reassigned to Washington and had not resigned.
A Navy admiral under investigation for ‘free hugs,’ Twister games and a margarita machine in his office
Multiple current and former college employees told The Associated Press they have raised serious concerns for over a year about Rear Adm. Jeffrey Harley’s conduct at the helm of the elite school that grooms future admirals and generals.
In a story June 10 about an investigation into the president of the U.S. Naval War College, The Associated Press reported erroneously that Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer was scheduled to attend a strategy forum at the school. The Navy says he was only planning to attend graduation. A corrected copy of the story appears above.