WASHINGTON( AP) — A senior military officer has accused the U. s. air force general tapped to be the next vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of sexual misbehaviour. The accusation may have an effect on his nomination. Members of Congress have raised questions about the allegations and the military forces investigation that found insufficient evidence to indictment him.
The officer told The Associated Press that Gen. John Hyten subjected her to a series of unwanted sexual advances by kissing, hugging and rubbing up against her in 2017 while she was one of his aides. She said that he tried to derail her military career after she rebuffed him.
The Air Force analyse the woman’s charges, which she reported days after Hyten’s nomination was announced in April, and determined there was insufficient evidence to charge the general or recommend any administrative punishment. The alleged prey remains in the military but has moved to a different job.
“My life was devastated by this, ” she told the AP.
The woman asked to not be identified by name. The AP regularly does not name victims of sexual assault.
The accusations against Hyten come at a time when the Pentagon has had an extraordinary sum of disturbance in its senior ranks, with only an acting defense secretary for the past six months. One of President Donald Trump’s nominees for that outlook recently withdrew after details of his contentious divorce surfaced. On Sunday, an admiral selected to be the top Navy officer withdrew due to what officials said was an improper professional relationship.
It’s unclear when, or if, Hyten’s confirmation hearing will move forward. It has not been scheduled, despite the fact that the current vice chairman, Gen. Paul Selva, is scheduled to retire at the end of the month.
Air Force Col. DeDe Halfhill, a Pentagon spokeswoman, said Wednesday that Hyten’s nomination remains on course.
“With more than 38 years of service to our person, Gen. Hyten has proven himself to be a principled and dedicated patriot, ” she said.
A senior U. s. air force official said investigators went through emails, conducted interviews and prosecuted every produce, but did not uncover evidence to support the allegations. The official, who spoke on condition of obscurity to discuss personnel matters, added that they likewise noted no evidence that the woman was lying.
Last month, Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Tammy Duckworth sent a letter to acting Defense Secretary Mark Esper asking why Hyten was not removed from his post amid the investigation. The word, obtained by the AP, raised questions about whether he received special treatment.
The woman construct the allegations said she, very, wonders if Hyten received special care because of his rank, and she horror her franknes and incentives will be questioned because of the circumstances and timing of her allegations.
The woman began working for Hyten in November 2016. Though he is an Us air force general, she is in another armed sprig, which she requested the AP not to disclose.
The officer said the unwanted sexual contact, kissing and hugging been launched in early 2017 and repetition several times throughout that time when she was working closely with Hyten. She told me that she repeatedly pushed him away and told him to stop.
In December 2017, when they were in southern California for the annual Reagan National Defense Forum, Hyten came into her room wearing workout clothes and hugged her tightly and rubbed up against her, according to the woman. She said she told him to leave.
Hyten then expected the woman if she was going to report him. She said she told him no.
The woman said she didn’t report the incidents at the time in order to avoid embarrassment, and out of fear of retaliation. She was also thinking about retiring, and felt Hyten was as well, so she concluded that he has not been able to pose a risk to any other service members.
She later learned that she was under investigation by Strategic Command for what officials said was “toxic” leadership behavior.
That allegation surprised her, she says, because Hyten was familiar with her leader mode and “encouraged” it. He “ve been given” her glowing achievement critiques, some of which were reviewed by the AP.
“I was not the most popular officer in the bidding. In fact, one could say I was not popular at all, ” she said. “But I was very successful in turning around an organization.”
In her interrogation with the AP, she proved copies of performance evaluation from Hyten in which she was ranked as the top officer out of 71 on his staff. Hyten wrote that she had “unlimited potential to lead and serve with distinction as a multi-star” general.
“Exceptionally competent and committed lead with the top level of persona, ” Hyten wrote, adding that “her ethics are above reproach.”
The examiners problem her a word of admonition for her leadership and she was removed from her occupation at Strategic Command. She submitted her retirement.
But military officials in her division of service measured her retirement was compelled and they rejected it. They then moved her to another senior task in the Washington area.
As she moved into her location, the policeman received another negative evaluation by Hyten, which she appealed. During the appeals process, Hyten was nominated for the vice chairman position.
The woman told me that she decided she couldn’t live with the idea that Hyten might assault someone else if he was confirmed for the job. She reported the sex misconduct to the Defense Department inspector general.
Because the charges involved criminal sex crime, the case was referred to the United states air force Office of Special Investigations and a formal investigation into Hyten was launched. Several weeks later, Gen. James Holmes, the officer in charge of such investigations, decided not to press charges.
Asked whether she has ever registered similar objections, the policeman said she was one of various who reported a officer for sexual harassment in 2007 in Iraq.
The woman told the AP she guesses Hyten has committed “the perfect crime where no one is to be able to believe me.”
“I’ve already completed a successful career, ” she said. “I “ve got nothing” are benefiting from doing this.”