IG report accuses Pentagon historian of ‘unprofessional conduct’

A newly released Defense Department inspector general report found that the Pentagon’s chief historian engaged in unprofessional conduct, misused government resources and used her public office for personal gain.

The report, released publicly on Thursday, accused chief historian Erin Mahan of accepting gifts from prohibited sources by allowing contractors to babysit without compensation, and of misusing government resources by directing contractor employees to plan two social events for the office.

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The inspector general also alleged that Mahan engaged in unprofessional conduct by discussing personal medical issues and speculating about an employee’s sexual orientation, and that she improperly promised two subordinates the job of deputy chief historian.

The inspector general said it substantiated four allegations against Mahan — another two unsubstantiated allegations were redacted from the publicly released report — and recommended that the Pentagon take “appropriate corrective action” against Mahan.

Mahan disputed the conclusions of the report, writing in response to the inspector general that “the majority of the allegations and so called ‘evidence’ from which the conclusions were drawn appear to have come from office gossip and uncorroborated hearsay.”

The inspector general said that it stood by its conclusions.

The report was completed in December 2012 but was not released by the Pentagon inspector general until Thursday.

Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Thomas Crosson said that the director of administration and management “took appropriate administrative action in response to the report.”

Crosson did not elaborate on what actions were taken.

The chief historian’s office is tasked with preserving and presenting the history of the office of the secretary of Defense. The Historical Office dates back to 1949.