NEW LONDON (AP) — Officials at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy retaliated against a faculty member who had complained of harassment and bullying based on her gender and race, according to a report from the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General released Tuesday.
The report says “a preponderance of the evidence” shows that the lieutenant commander at the New London, Connecticut academy received a poor annual evaluation “after making discrimination and harassment complaints against her superiors.”
The report also found that the Coast Guard failed to adequately respond to the woman’s complaints, which were made in 2015 and 2016, and subjected her to additional harassment after she made her initial complaints.
The person’s name was blacked out in the heavily redacted report. The subjects of her complaints and those who handled them were also redacted.
The report concluded with several recommendations, including supplemental training for Coast Guard supervisors and managers on the agency’s discrimination, harassment, and bullying policies.
It also ordered that the officer’s evaluation be amended and said commanders should be required to document in writing the reasons for their findings and outcomes in response to bullying and harassment complaints.
The academy did not immediately respond to multiple phone messages for comment left Wednesday.
U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, both Democrats from Connecticut, said in a joint statement that the inspector general’s report is troubling.
“The Inspector General’s report is a damning indictment of the Coast Guard Academy’s handling of racial discrimination and harassment. ... We fully expect immediate, thorough and transparent steps to change this atmosphere of racial hostility and hold academy staff and officers accountable for their actions.”
The academy is already the subject of a congressional investigation for harassment, bullying and discrimination against minority cadets.
Read more articles like this and help support local journalism by subscribing to the Record Journal.
Unlimited Digital Access just 99¢
Read more articles like this by subscribing to the Record Journal.
Unlimited Digital Access for just 99¢