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Pentagon documents hundreds of serious misconduct cases against top brass

Pentagon documents hundreds of serious misconduct cases against top brass
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Officials at the Pentagon have compiled hundreds of cases of misconduct against top leaders in the armed forces and civilian services, according to a Tuesday report by USA Today.

The misconduct cases include several sex scandals and instances of ethical lapses.

Instances investigated by officials include a top general who lived rent-free at the home of a U.S. defense contractor after the general's affair fell apart, and another who sent lewd Facebook messages to the wife of an enlisted soldier under his command.

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The misconduct, according to the report, spreads to all branches of the military and goes back months. One investigation in February ended with a retired Air Force general being docked two stars after it was found that he coerced a junior officer into having sexual relations. Another former major general in the Army was found to have been involved in an 11-year affair that led him to "sex clubs" around the country.

Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandAffordable housing set for spotlight of next presidential campaign Overnight Defense — Presented by The Embassy of the United Arab Emirates — Senators seek US intel on journalist's disappearance | Army discharged over 500 immigrant recruits in one year | Watchdog knocks admiral over handling of sexual harassment case Pentagon watchdog knocks top admiral for handling of sexual harassment case MORE (D-N.Y.), a top critic of how the military handles sexual assault and other misconduct, reacted to the news Tuesday in a statement.

“This is another example of top (Pentagon) officials refusing to demand accountability and sweeping major ethical problems from commanders under the rug to the detriment of the men and women who serve admirably under them,” Gillibrand told USA Today.

A spokeswoman for the Pentagon said that Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisMattis says he thought 'nothing at all' about Trump saying he may leave administration Overnight Defense: Trump says 'rogue killers' could be behind missing journalist | Sends Pompeo to meet Saudi king | Saudis may claim Khashoggi killed by accident | Ex-VA chief talks White House 'chaos' | Most F-35s cleared for flight Americans are safer from terrorism, but new threats are arising MORE takes allegations of misconduct "seriously."

“Officer misconduct has and will always be taken seriously by Secretary Mattis and our senior officers who are expected to serve as exemplary leaders within the armed forces,” Pentagon spokeswoman Laura Ochoa said.

Former Defense Secretary Chuck HagelCharles (Chuck) Timothy HagelTrump’s bogus use of cyber threats to prop up coal GOP lambasts Trump over performance in Helsinki Overnight Defense: Latest on historic Korea summit | Trump says 'many people' interested in VA job | Pompeo thinks Trump likely to leave Iran deal MORE, who served under President Obama, criticized the Pentagon for shuttering an office created to investigate misconduct by senior officials in 2016.

“If I would have stayed as secretary of Defense, we would not have shut that office down as soon as it was shut down,” he told USA Today.

“You also have to get your arms around the depth, the width, the scope," he added. "Is this just the matter of a few individuals getting in trouble? Is it wider, is it deeper?"