The Pentagon’s former chief financial officer made sexually suggestive comments to subordinates, used the N-word and drank alcohol at work without authorization, according to a Defense Department inspector general’s report released Thursday.
Officially, Douglas Glenn was performing the duties of Pentagon comptroller in April 2021 when the inspector general investigated him for a litany of bad behavior, including unsubstantiated allegations that he disparaged his staff and “screamed” at subordinates in the Pentagon’s hallways, according to the report.
While Glenn told investigators he didn’t recall making any sexual remarks, he “admitted that he used the N‑word twice during one conversation but indicated that he did not intend to offend anyone, and it saddened him that he did not notice any discomfort in his employees resulting from his conduct,” the investigation found.
The investigation concluded in fall 2022, a year after Glenn left the Defense Department to take a job as chief financial officer at the Office of Personnel Management, where he still works.
Eighteen witnesses spoke with IG investigators, eight of whom described Glenn as “professional, caring, approachable, straightforward, easygoing, friendly, honest, and personable,” according to the report, though five of them said he made insensitive comments.
“One witness said that Mr. Glenn was laid‑back but also said that he was racially insensitive. The second witness described Mr. Glenn as being friendly but also said that he lacked cultural awareness and described his behavior during the all‑hands meeting as racist,” according to the report. “The third witness described Mr. Glenn as being friendly and equitable but also said that he made lewd and off‑color jokes.”
In 2018, two witnesses said that Glenn used the expression “all balls, no bush” during a conversation in the office. Another said Glenn often commented on “how young she looked,” once saying “that he could line up the women in the office, and they would not look as good as her,” according to the report.
During an off-site happy hour, another staffer said he referred to her as a “hot blonde.” A fourth said that in late 2021, months after the investigation began, “Mr. Glenn was talking on a speakerphone telling another subordinate that [he] hoped some studly guy would be rubbing oil on her back at the beach.”
During an all-hands meeting in February 2021, according to the investigation, Glenn wanted to talk about former President Barack Obama’s recent comments about his experiences with racism, specifically to discuss his view that Obama had not, in fact, experienced racism.
“Seven of the eight subordinates told us that Mr. Glenn’s comment about President (Barack) Obama’s experience with racism made them and other subordinates feel appalled, surprised, betrayed, stunned and very confused, and that it was an inappropriate and insensitive thing to say,” according to the investigation.
Also during that call, Glenn called on a staffer of Asian descent to talk about racism.
“The eight subordinates provided different versions of the question but thought that Mr. Glenn asked either how she felt about the DoD’s focus on China, about her perspective on the effect of the pandemic on Chinese Americans, or about her personal experience related to racism as a Chinese American,” the report found.
Glenn, subordinates said, wanted to have another all-hands meeting to discuss a workplace incident from his past in which he misheard a colleague who had said the word “negative,” thinking that she had said the N-word. In retelling the story, he used the full word, according to the report.
“Mr. Glenn said he thought the misunderstanding was funny because ‘when he relayed that story to a black person, the black person looks at him horrified. But when he relays that story to white friends, the white friends laugh and think it’s hilarious,’ ” a witness told the inspector general.
Glenn denied that he “served” alcohol to his staff, but admitted that he never had the required authorization to drink in the Pentagon.
Although alcohol use is generally forbidden in the Pentagon, it can be authorized by Washington Headquarters Services, typically for holiday parties, retirements, promotions and the like.
“Mr. Glenn told us that he became aware of the requirement to obtain written permission in February 2021, when he was drinking alcohol with the larger group, and someone mentioned that he needed authorization,” according to the report. “Mr. Glenn told us that he stopped drinking in his office after he was notified that he needed authorization.”
Because Glenn no longer works for the Defense Department, but is still a federal employee at OPM, the IG concluded it would forward the report to his new management “to take appropriate action regarding Mr. Glenn,” according to the report.
“OPM is committed to upholding a professional and respectful workplace” according to a statement from an OPM spokesperson. “At this time, we are aware of the report and are reviewing the material now.”
Meghann Myers is the Pentagon bureau chief at Military Times. She covers operations, policy, personnel, leadership and other issues affecting service members.