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Navy's Acting Undersecretary Forced to Resign

The Navy's acting undersecretary resigned Tuesday under pressure from Navy Secretary Ray Mabus following allegations of sexual misconduct with a subordinate, Pentagon sources said.

Mabus asked for the resignation of Robert Martinage, who has been serving as undersecretary of the Navy since last June, "following a loss of confidence in Martinage's abilities to effectively perform his duties," Mabus' office said in a statement.

Mabus acted after allegations surfaced that Martinage had engaged in inappropriate conduct with a woman who worked for him, a Pentagon source said.

Martinage, the deputy undersecretary of the Navy (DUSN)/Policy, Plans, Oversight and Integration (PPO&I), has been serving in that capacity since last June when Robert Work resigned to take a post with the Center For a New American Security, a Washington, D.C., think tank.

The statement from Mabus' office said that Thomas W. Hicks, currently deputy undersecretary of the Navy and deputy chief management officer, will take over the acting post of undersecretary "until a new undersecretary is confirmed or until further notice, whichever comes first."

Last week, the controversial nomination of Jo Ann Rooney to become the new undersecretary of the Navy passed the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) despite opposition from Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., over the nominee's remarks on sexual assaults in the military.

What had been expected to be a routine confirmation last October of Rooney's nomination to the powerful post as the Navy's No. 2 civilian ran into a firestorm of criticism from Gillibrand and others when Rooney defended the role of commanders in sexual assault cases.

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