The U.S. Coast Guard has launched an investigation into “alleged inappropriate conduct” by the former command master chief of the Coast Guard Academy, officials confirmed Wednesday.

Former Command Master Chief Brett VerHulst abruptly resigned as senior enlisted leader of the academy on Tuesday for reasons that remain unclear.

Academy spokesman Cmdr. David Milne said Wednesday that while the school’s superintendent accepted VerHulst’s resignation Tuesday, “he was simultaneously temporarily removed from his position pending the outcome of the ongoing investigation.”

Milne said he did not know when the Coast Guard Investigative Service’s investigation began, and he declined to say what kind of alleged inappropriate conduct was being investigated.

“The Coast Guard cannot provide details at this time in order to preserve the integrity of the investigation and to protect the Coast Guard’s ability to take appropriate final action,” Milne said.

VerHulst did not reply to messages and calls seeking comment.

VerHulst assumed the duties of command master chief at the academy in August 2017, according to his online bio, a job that involved advising the superintendent on issues pertaining to the academy’s workforce.

Before that, VerHulst served as CMC for the 17th Coast Guard District out of Juneau, Alaska, and served on several afloat assignments earlier in his career.

Geoff is a senior staff reporter for Military Times, focusing on the Navy. He covered Iraq and Afghanistan extensively and was most recently a reporter at the Chicago Tribune. He welcomes any and all kinds of tips at geoffz@militarytimes.com.

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