Chief Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White stepped down from her post on Monday, which was also the last day for Defense Secretary James Mattis.
Charles Summers Jr., the principal deputy assistant to the secretary of defense, has moved into the post of acting assistant to the secretary of defense for public affairs.
“I appreciate the opportunity afforded to me by this administration to serve alongside Secretary Mattis, our Service members and all the civilians who support them,” White tweeted from her official account, which as of Tuesday showed the tweet as coming from Summers. “It has been my honor and privilege. Stay safe and God bless.”
“I appreciate the opportunity afforded to me by this administration to serve alongside Secretary Mattis, our Service members and all the civilians who support them,” Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White tweeted Monday. https://t.co/9UP3fJX2CH
— Stars and Stripes (@starsandstripes) January 1, 2019
White also sent a farewell message to the Defense Department public affairs personnel, according to CNN, which said it obtained a copy of the message.
“It is with a heavy heart that I have submitted my letter of resignation to Secretary Mattis. I am grateful to the administration for giving me the opportunity to serve alongside Secretary Mattis, the brave men and women in uniform, and all of the civilians who support them,” the message read.
White has been the target of the Defense Department’s inspector general over internal personnel matters involving her use of department staff for personal matters.
The Washington Post said staff claimed they were required to pick up White’s dry cleaning and her lunch. Other accusations claimed she forced staffers to pick up pharmacy items for her or work on paperwork connected to her mortgage.
This kind of use of others’ time is a serious ethics issue, said one commentator.
“You could actually think of it as theft,” said Kathleen Clark, a law professor at Washington University Law School, according to NBC. “You’re essentially using, as though it belongs to you for your personal purposes, something of value to the government — your subordinate’s time.”
White was also accused of transferring staff members who complained about her, NBC reported.
White became the chief spokeswoman for the Pentagon in April 2017. She reported directly to Mattis.
Mattis ended his tenure Monday with a message to U.S. troops that encouraged them to “hold fast.”
Patrick Shanahan, a former Boeing executive assumed the post of acting defense secretary as of Jan. 1.
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