Pentagon boss called female subordinate a ‘hot blonde’ and discussed another’s sex life, used n-word

Pentagon boss called female subordinate a ‘hot blonde,’ told another he hoped ‘stud’ would ‘rub oil on her,’ used n-word and defended people who locked their car doors when Obama walked past, probe finds

  • Doug Glenn is currently the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at the Office of Personnel Management, a role he took up in November 2021
  • He had joined the Defense Department in 2018, rising in January 2021 to acting comptroller
  • On Thursday a report by the Pentagon’s inspector general concluded he ‘failed to treat subordinates with dignity and respect’ and inappropriate comments

Douglas Glenn, a veteran government financial expert, was accused of using sexually suggestive and racially offensive language in a report published on Thursday

Douglas Glenn, a veteran government financial expert, was accused of using sexually suggestive and racially offensive language in a report published on Thursday

A top Pentagon official ‘failed to treat subordinates with dignity and respect’, the inspector general concluded – noting how he made sexually suggestive comments, used racist terms, and drank with his staff during work hours.

He called one female employee a ‘hot blonde,’ and told another he ‘hoped some studly guy would be rubbing oil on her back at the beach.’

He used the n-word in a meeting with his staff, and said it was perhaps understandable that people locked their car doors when a black man walked past – an incident Barack Obama recalled in a 2013 speech.

Douglas Glenn joined the Department of Defense in 2018 from the Interior Department, and rose in January 2021 to acting comptroller – the defense secretary’s principal adviser for budgetary matters.

Complaints began as soon as he took up the comptroller role, and sparked the investigation – yet in spite of this, he was hired in November 2021 to be Chief Financial Officer at the Office of Personnel Management.

The OPM has not commented on the report’s findings, or addressed his future in the role. Glenn is also yet to respond.

Glenn joined the Department of Defense in 2018 from the Interior Department, and rose in January 2021 to acting comptroller - the defense secretary's principal adviser for budgetary matters

Glenn joined the Department of Defense in 2018 from the Interior Department, and rose in January 2021 to acting comptroller – the defense secretary’s principal adviser for budgetary matters

Robert Storch, the inspector general, spent almost two years compiling the report, speaking to 18 witnesses and combing through hundreds of thousands of emails.

The report was published on Thursday.

In one February 2021 staff meeting, he referenced Obama’s 2013 speech, in which he spoke of his experiences of racism and recalled hearing people lock their car doors as he passed.

Glenn told staff ‘that the people who locked their car doors ‘might not have been racist’ or had other reasons for locking them,’ according to the report.

Staff told investigators his remarks ‘made them and other subordinates feel appalled, surprised, betrayed, stunned, and very confused, and that it was an inappropriate and insensitive thing to say.’

Glenn told Stroch’s team he intended to show how ‘people can look at things differently’ on matters of race.

‘Who are the people in the car that are locking their doors?’ Glenn told the inspector general’s staff, according to the report.

‘Maybe they’re racists. Maybe they’re looking at a black man and assuming there’s a high potential for being robbed.

‘Or maybe they’re just following National Highway Administration guidelines to lock your doors when you drive. It could be either.”

Glenn referenced a 2013 speech by Barack Obama, in which Obama addressed the racism he experienced. Glenn tried to downplay Obama's remarks

Glenn referenced a 2013 speech by Barack Obama, in which Obama addressed the racism he experienced. Glenn tried to downplay Obama’s remarks

Glenn in the same meeting asked an Asian American woman how she felt as an ‘Asian female’ in a department ‘that considers China its biggest threat.’

He admitted to investigators it was ‘awkward’, but said he thought he had asked her consent before the meeting.

Glenn ‘stated that his performance rating for that time period was ‘Exceeds Fully Successful,’ leading him to believe that nobody complained to his supervisor about his all-hands comments,’ the report said.

At another staff meeting held several weeks later, focusing on diversity and inclusion, Glenn told an anecdote about mishearing someone, and thinking they had used the n-word.

Glenn confirmed using the racial slur, but said the story was intended to ‘highlight the different reactions he received and to explain why it is difficult to discuss race.’

The report found that one staff member was ‘alarmed, appalled, and offended that Mr Glenn thought it was okay to use the n-word.’

He also made sexually inappropriate remarks – commenting on one employee’s attractiveness in relation to others.

Another female employee said Glenn referred to her as a ‘hot blonde’ at an out-of-office happy hour.

Glenn denied making the comments, and said it did not sound like anything he would say.

Staff members also told of two occasions when Glenn drank wine and craft beer in his office during work hours and offered them to subordinates.

Glenn accepted that he kept alcohol in his office and occasionally drank, mostly after hours, but stopped when he learned that the Defense Department requires written authorization to consume alcohol on the job.

Three people who worked previously for Glenn – two women and one black man — contacted The Washington Post to defend him.

‘I would count him as my best boss in 32 years in government,’ said Vickie Jones, who worked for Glenn a decade ago when he served as deputy chief financial officer at the General Services Administration.

Glenn denied intentionally creating a hostile work environment.

‘Mr Glenn told us that his subordinates might have misinterpreted what he said as sexually suggestive, but his comments were ‘not intended that way in any way, shape, or form,’ the report found.

The report’s authors said: ‘We stand by our conclusions.’

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