The Pentagon inspector general reported Thursday that a former senior Defense Department official now employed by the Office of Personnel Management has used racial slurs, sexually harassed female employees and drank during work hours to create an “offensive work environment” for his subordinates to accomplish.
Douglas Glenn, a career member of the Senior Executive Service, joined the Department of Defense in 2018 as Assistant Assistant Treasurer before being promoted to Assistant Treasurer in 2020, and temporarily held the duties of Undersecretary of Defense (Accountant) from January to April 2021. He joined OPM in November 2021, where he serves as the agency’s Chief Financial Officer.
The Department of Defense Inspector General’s report examines several anonymous complaints about Glenn’s behavior in the workplace and catalogs a laundry list of sexually suggestive comments made toward female employees and two instances where he behaved in a racially insensitive manner when meeting with subordinates.
The inspector general justified several instances where Glenn used phrases like “all balls, no bush,” commented on “how young” a female subordinate looked, and described another employee as a “hot blonde.”
“The fourth sub told us that in November 2021, Mr. Glenn spoke on a speakerphone and told another sub that Mr. Glenn was hoping a scholarly guy would rub oil on her back on the beach,” the report reads.
Glenn denied making any sexually suggestive comments, saying that “the comments didn’t sound like anything he would say.”
The report also highlights an incident during an all-hands meeting in February 2021, in which Glenn, against the advice of two subordinates, discussed a 2013 speech by former President Obama, in which he described how he experienced and heard racism, how people locked their car doors as he walked past their vehicles.
“They said Mr. Glenn told the audience that the people who locked their car doors ‘may not have been racist’ or had other reasons for locking them,” reads the report. “Seven of the eight subordinates told us that Mr. Glenn’s comment about President Obama’s experience with racism left them and other subordinates appalled, surprised, betrayed, stunned and greatly confused, and that it was an inappropriate and insensitive statement.”
Glenn argued he was trying to show how “people can see things differently” when it comes to issues of race.
“Who are the people in the car locking their doors?” Glenn told the inspector general’s office. “Maybe they are racists. Maybe they look at a black man and assume there is a high risk of being robbed. Or maybe they’re just following National Highway Administration guidelines to lock your doors when you’re driving. It could be both.”
In the same all-hands meeting, Glenn asked an Asian-American subordinate to describe how she felt as an “Asian woman in a department that views China as her biggest threat.” Glenn told investigators that while the exchange was “awkward,” he thought he had made it “ok” with the employee beforehand.
“Mr. Glenn said that he believed the all-hands meeting went “well enough” and he had received no feedback from staff who raised concerns about the content of the meeting,” the inspector general wrote.[He] also stated that his performance rating for that period was “Outperforming Average,” leading him to believe no one has complained to their manager about his all-hand comments.”
But weeks later, Glenn told some of his subordinates that he wanted to hold a second all-hands meeting on diversity and inclusion. During this discussion, he described an anecdote using the N-word.
“[In the story]Mr Glenn complimented a former colleague on a sweater [they] wore, and the former colleague responded to it [they] wore it to stop all the negative comments,” the report said. “Mr. However, Glenn misunderstood and thought the colleague [they] should stop all N-word comments. [A witness] said that Mr. Glenn’s colleague corrected him and said [they] didn’t say the N-word, saying “negative comments” instead. [A witness] told us that Mr. Glenn said he found the misunderstanding funny because “when he shared this story with a black person, the black person would look at him in horror. But when he tells this story to white friends, the white friends laugh and think it’s hilarious.’”
Glenn confirmed he used the racial slur and spelled it out when asked to clarify exactly what word he was using, but said the story was meant to “highlight and explain the varied reactions he received.” Why It’s Difficult to Talk About Race”.
“Mr. Glenn told us that he observed the reactions of each subordinate as he related the story and he didn’t think anyone was offended,” the report reads. “He said that it was a ‘very productive conversation between us everyone’. Mr. Glenn told us that he observed the reactions of each subordinate as he told the story and he didn’t think anyone was offended.”
The inspector general also established two instances where Glenn consumed alcoholic beverages during work hours and offered them to subordinates. Glenn admitted that he kept alcohol in his office and drank occasionally, mostly after hours, but that he stopped when he realized employees had to get written permission to do so.
Since Glenn is no longer a Defense Department staffer, the inspector general said he has forwarded his findings to OPM director Kiran Ahuja “to take appropriate action.” OPM confirmed on Thursday that the agency received the report and is reviewing it.