Report Criticizes West Point Leader


ALBANY, N.Y. - The top official at the U.S. Military Academy improperly allowed subordinates to give driving lessons, didn't properly compensate those who worked at a charity dinner and misused his position to obtain cat care, according to a report from Pentagon investigators.

The Department of Defense inspector general concluded that West Point superintendent Lt. Gen. David Huntoon misused his position, government resources and personnel, according to a heavily redacted report released to The Associated Press on Friday in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.

West Point officials said they would not comment on the report, which said Huntoon took full responsibility and repaid the affected parties $1,815 based on prevailing labor rates.

The report said the Army inspector general conducted a preliminary inquiry in 2010 into allegations Huntoon improperly allowed an employee to get government quarters at West Point based on a "personal relationship" with her. The Army investigators determined those allegations were unfounded.

The separate Pentagon investigation found Huntoon improperly used government personnel, accepted gifts of services from subordinates and misused his position.

In the case of the charity dinner, workers were paid with $30 and $40 Starbucks gift cards, which investigators said was "not sufficient."

Redactions in the report make it impossible to determine the complete nature of most episodes or details about the people involved in them.

For example, the report says Huntoon misused his position to get cat-feeding help for a friend, but it was unclear who was feeding the cats and who the friend was. It also is unclear which relative or friend received driving lessons.

Military officials first disclosed in April that an inspector general's investigation found Huntoon had engaged in misconduct, but they did not release specifics about the report. At that time, the Army said Huntoon had no pending disciplinary action against him.

The report released Friday called for the secretary of the Army to "consider appropriate corrective action" in regards to Huntoon.

In a statement, an Army spokesman said the report was referred to the vice chief of staff of the Army, who is responsible for handling disciplinary actions. Lt. Col. Justin Platt said that on October 5, 2012, Huntoon was issued a "written memorandum of concern, which admonished him for the improper use of subordinate personnel for unofficial purposes."

Platt said the report found that Huntoon improperly used two enlisted aides for unofficial functions at his headquarters and that a subordinate employee "improperly provided driving lessons to a family member of LTG Huntoon."

Huntoon, a 1973 West Point graduate, will retire this summer after three years as superintendent. Army officials have said the retirement comes after 40 years of service and is not related to the investigation.

The investigation into his actions was among a series of negative stories from the venerable academy on the Hudson River.

An Army sergeant assigned to West Point was charged last month with secretly photographing and videotaping at least a dozen women at the academy, including in a bathroom. And West Point's men's rugby team is temporarily disbanded after cadets forwarded emails that were derogatory to women.

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