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News | Feb. 13, 2024

Press Release: Report of Investigation: Ms. Laura M. DeSimone Senior Executive Service (DODIG-2024-049)

Inspector General Robert P. Storch announced today that the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General released the “Report of Investigation: Ms. Laura M. DeSimone, Executive Director, Missile Defense Agency.

The investigation substantiated the allegations that Ms. DeSimone misused her public office for the private gain of a subordinate and created a reasonable appearance that she violated ethical standards through her intimate sexual relationship with the subordinate and her involvement in employment actions concerning that subordinate. Additionally, she failed to promptly inform her supervisor of the appearance issues associated with her relationship with the subordinate and failed to recuse herself from promotion actions and another official matter involving the subordinate. Also, she misused government communication systems to further her private relationship with the subordinate. Lastly, the investigation substantiated that Ms. DeSimone also used poor judgment by engaging in a prior relationship with a second subordinate.

The DoD OIG initiated this investigation after receiving an anonymous complaint to the DoD Hotline. “The investigation in this matter underscores the importance of individuals coming forward when they see what they believe to be evidence of wrongdoing,” said IG Storch. “It’s a great example of the crucial role whistleblowers serve in helping us detect and investigate misconduct by senior DoD officials.”

As Ms. DeSimone is employed at the MDA, the DoD OIG recommended that her supervisor take appropriate action concerning Ms. DeSimone. We also made several recommendations to the DoD, including that it consider developing Department-wide policy concerning romantic, intimate, and sexual relationships between civilian supervisors and subordinates and the reporting requirements for those relationships, and implement and provide training regarding any additional policy developed as a result.