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NEWS | March 24, 2021

Report of Investigation: Mr. Ronnie J. Booth, Former Auditor General of the Navy, and Mr. Thomas B. Modly, Former Acting Secretary of the Navy (DODIG-2021-061)

Administrative Investigations

This report presents the results of a DoD Office of Inspector General (DoD OIG) investigation into allegations that Mr. Ronnie J. Booth, the former Auditor General of the Navy, sexually harassed female employees, and that Mr. Thomas B. Modly, the former Acting Secretary of the Navy, failed to comply with DoD and Navy policies when informed of sexual harassment allegations against Mr. Booth.

On July 26, 2019, we initiated an investigation into allegations that Mr. Booth sexually harassed subordinates and wasted Government funds. On March 18, 2020, we added Mr. Modly as a subject in the investigation, based on additional information gathered during the investigation that indicated he might have failed to comply with DoD and Navy policies when informed of sexual harassment allegations against Mr. Booth.

We substantiated the allegation that Mr. Booth engaged in a pervasive and egregious pattern of sexual harassment toward multiple female employees over a period of more than 20 years. We also determined that Naval Audit Service employees, who did not know all of the relevant facts concerning final disposition of complaints, had an unfavorable perception of how their agency handled previous complaints about Mr. Booth, which discouraged them from reporting Mr. Booth’s sexual harassment toward them. Additionally, we determined that Naval Audit Service leadership failed to report allegations of misconduct against Mr. Booth to the DoD OIG, separately from the DON policy of handling reported incidents of sexual harassment at the lowest appropriate level.

We did not substantiate the allegation that Mr. Modly failed to comply with DoD and Navy policies when informed of sexual harassment allegations against Mr. Booth. We determined that Mr. Modly complied with DoD and Navy standards when he was informed of the sexual harassment allegations against Mr. Booth by having his staff and advisors, including legal advisors, vet Mr. Booth and other candidates before making a selection.