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(U.S. Army photo by Monica King)

Dana White, the Pentagon’s top spokeswoman, could be in trouble.

White, one of the few high-ranking African-Americans in the Trump administration, works directly for Defense Secretary James Mattis. White is being investigated by the Defense Department Office of Inspector General for allegedly retaliating against staff members after she ordered them to run  personal errands for her – a clear violation of government ethics.

Defense department staffers have reportedly filed multiple complaints against White. They claim White directed them to pick up items from the pharmacy, retrieve her dry cleaning, review her mortgage papers and buy pantyhose. The staffers also said White abruptly transferred employees who complained about how White repeatedly misused her staff.

According to CNN, more than a dozen staffers have been interviewed by the Office of Inspector General and the investigation continues.

White has not been charged with any wrongdoing but staffers accusations and the formal investigation doesn’t look good for her. It’s a shame that White, a high-profile spokeswoman appointed by President Donald Trump, is in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.

CNN reported that Pentagon ethics standards state that Defense Department officials “may not direct or request subordinates to use official time to perform any activities other than official activities.”

The network said that one Defense Department staff member “made multiple trips to the pharmacy inside the Pentagon to purchase snacks and pantyhose for White. Staffers were repeatedly dispatched to the cafeteria to get her lunch.”

White is the second highly visible African-American woman in the Trump administration to make headlines this week: Former White House advisor Omarosa Manigault-Newman created a firestorm by publishing a tell-all book about her experiences in the White House, accusing Trump of being a racist, and releasing tape recordings of Trump and John Kelly, the White House Chief of Staff.

White, meanwhile, a former employee for Fox News, is embroiled in an ethics scandal that could become as serious as two other high-profile Trump administration officials: Former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price resigned in September after he spent more than $1 million in taxpayer funds for airline travel. And former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt quit in July after using aides as “personal servants,” which included ordering aides to book his hotel rooms on their personal credit cards.

White must have known about Price and Pruitt – and I’m sure she was aware that former U.S. Rep. John Conyers of Michigan resigned in disgrace last year after being accused of sexual harassment, mistreatment of staffers and showing up for meetings in his underwear.

Melanie Sloan, a lawyer who worked for Conyers, told the Detroit Free Press that Conyers constantly berated her and screamed at her.

Sloan said Conyers also once ordered her to babysit one of his children while attending a hearing on crime in New York City.

In the meantime, White is still on the job but she has a big problem: Staffers are ratting her out, one by one. As more staffers line up to discuss White’s possible ethics violations – and the longer the investigation continues – White’s tenure in the Defense Department could be torpedoed.

Some staffers are no doubt angry at White for using them as gofers to pick up dry cleaning and fetch pantyhose while others may feel she is an unprincipled manager.

Whatever the reasons, White finds herself in the crosshairs of a tense federal investigation at a time when several of her former colleagues have been forced out for similar ethical infractions.

In the weeks to follow, the Trump administration could end up with one less senior African-American aide in a chaotic environment where black faces are few and far between.

What do you think?

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9 thoughts on “White Lines: Did A Pentagon Official Take Advantage Of Her Staff?

  1. vision67 on said:

    What I think that you are seeing here is internal political in-fighting in action. How do I know? I work in government.

    Anyone that works in government can tell you that prominently displayed in a government workplace is a poster that encourages government workers and contractors to report instances of fraud and/or misconduct to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). What is not well communicated by stories such as these is that such reports are often anonymous and always confidential. This is purposefully done to protect whistle blowers from reprisal. As a result, it is highly unlikely that the Office would tell the press anything about anyone or anything that it was investigating. To have the information surrounding an investigation out in pubic in such an uncontrolled fashion for people to speculate about and before the actual facts of individual cases are known severely hinders the ability of the office to do investigations.

    Most likely what happened is that a disgruntled employee seeking to weaponize the OMB either in self-defense against or retaliation for actions taken against her made a report and then alerted the press knowing that mere act of making a report COMPELS the OMB to investigate it. This is why I can nearly 100% guaranty that no one reading this article will ever see a follow-up story containing the actual results of this investigation. Why? Because to the press, the accusation is always sexier than the final report. To me, the dead giveaway are all the gossipy details. I simply can’t imagine anyone charged with conducting a potentially career-ending investigation yacking to the press about pharmacy trips and dry cleaning runs… This alongside a single sentence disclaimer: “White has not been charged with any wrongdoing but staffers accusations and the formal investigation doesn’t look good for her.”

    So in other words, SHE HASN’T BEEN CHARGED WITH ANYTHING but the gossip surrounding a black woman in a powerful position doesn’t look good. Of course it doesn’t. It’s not supposed to.

  2. Beatrice L Brown on said:

    Stupidity has no color barriers this lady made far too much not to hire a personal assistant that you pay from your own pocket.I don’t feel sorry for them when they abuse the system.People need to be reminded that the devil loves nothing more than seeing you fall from too much pride.They think more of themselves than they should.

  3. This woman has obviously let her “position” go to her fucking head.
    If these allegations by her staff are found to be true-she will no doubt become another
    casualty of the Chump Administration.

    It is ashamed that when people of Color are selected for high paying federal gov’t jobs-they find some way to screw it up for themselves and for others.

  4. tedgravely on said:

    Nice looking lady, but she must love those pearls. I quickly digressed. Anytime you’re senior, you have to be ethnically and morally unimpeachable. You think you’re popular, but it only takes one person to get pissed and bring your budding career to a grinding halt. She should have hired her own trusted people. When you get promoted to that level, you have to speak up and surround yourself with trusted folks. If she did and still got burned, shame on her for not properly screening. Also if someone’s duty/job description doesn’t say fetch, you fetch. You’re the boss. Block an hour for lunch everyday. Don’t think people like you because the Boss does. Look what happened to Admiral Ronny Jackson. Remember #45 really liked him.

  5. I don’t know why blak politicians and/ or political appointees fail to conduct themselves ethically and meticulously, they should “hurry up and realize “ that there’s a bullseye on them and they’ll never get away with what their white counterparts can and do. President Barack Obama comported himself in an exemplerary manner that should be blueprint rite for those aspiring to public office, be it dogcatcher or POTUS!

    • African American Woman on said:

      You know how dumb you sound? Politicians are always getting caught doing unethical/illegal things…color notwithstanding. It’s a power thing. The thing is that they either resign or quietly get moved somewhere else.

  6. African American Woman on said:

    A politician is a politician is a politician. Most are there for their own profit and their own furtherance. I’m not surprised at anything a politician does.

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