The president of the U.S. Naval War College has been reassigned amid an investigation into excessive spending and inappropriate behavior that allegedly included drinking on the job and invitations for “free hugs” and games of Twister in his office.
Rear Adm. Jeffrey Harley was administratively reassigned to the Director of Navy Staff on June 9 pending the final report on the ongoing Office of the Naval Inspector General investigation into his conduct as president, NWC spokesman Cmdr. Gary Ross told Task & Purpose.
NWC Provost Lewis M. Duncan has temporarily assumed Harley's duties, Ross said.
The reassignment came just two days after an explosive Associated Press investigation depicted Harley's three-year presidency as defined by bizarre and inappropriate behavior that included his fondness for the working margarita machine he kept in his office and his propensity for rambling college-wide emails offering “free hugs.”
This behavior also included alarming and inconsistent expenditures on raises amid annual college budget shortfalls, expenditures reportedly raised serious concerns among faculty and staff that Harley's tenure was becoming a detriment to the NWC's long-term financial stability.
“The drinking continues. Morale is at an all-time low,” employees wrote in a January 2019 complaint to the IG. “Your biggest concern should be, however, the financial situation at the college.”