NEW LONDON — Some female staff and employees of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy are said to be outraged that the former Coast Guard commandant who presided over the service's coverup of an investigation of sexual assaults at the academy visited the school this weekend for homecoming.
A 1983 graduate of the academy, retired Adm. Karl Schultz, who served as commandant ― the Coast Guard's highest-ranking member ― from 2018 to 2022, attended his class's 40th reunion "in his personal capacity," the academy's communications director, David Santos, confirmed.
In an email Friday, The Day asked Santos to inform Schultz that The Day wanted to interview him.
"We do not typically contact retired members to set up media interviews once they become private citizens," Santos said. "My apologies."
A number of people at the academy objected to Schultz's presence on campus, according to sources on the academy payroll who spoke on condition of anonymity because they feared being retaliated against.
Homecoming events for class years ending in "3" and "8" were scheduled to take place Thursday through Sunday, according to the Coast Guard Academy Alumni Association's web page. No mention of Schultz's attendance was readily apparent.
In August, CNN, the cable news network, reported that in 2019, Schultz covered up the results of "Operation Fouled Anchor," an internal investigation into decades of rapes and sexual assaults at the academy, despite top Coast Guard officials' prior plans to disclose the findings. At the time, in 2019, Congress already was investigating an academy whistleblower's allegations of bullying and harassment.
At no time during congressional committees' investigation of the allegations of bullying and harassment, "during subsequent hearings before the Homeland Security Committee, or in response to questions about sexual abuse within the Service did the Coast Guard disclose the existence or results of the Fouled Anchor investigation," U.S. Reps. Jamie Raskin, D- Md., and Bennie Thompson, D- Miss., wrote in a July letter to Coast Guard officials.
Coast Guard Adm. Linda Fagan, who succeeded Schultz as commandant in 2022, has publicly apologized to the victims of the sexual misconduct investigated at the academy and pledged greater transparency in the future. She, too, took part in homecoming events at the academy this weekend, according to the academy's Facebook page.
Also in August, retired Adm. Charles Ray, who as vice commandant was Schultz's second-in-command from 2018 to 2021, resigned from the academy's Loy Institute for Leadership over his connection to withholding the Operation Fouled Anchor findings.
"I am resigning for the good of the Service and the good of the Academy," Ray wrote in a letter to the academy's alumni association.
U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D- Conn., announced last month that the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs' Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations had opened an inquiry into the academy's handling of its investigation of sexual assaults. He called the academy's mishandling of the Operation Fouled Anchor report "the most shameful, disgraceful coverup I've seen on the part of a governmental entity."
More recently, Glenn Sulmasy, a former academy law professor and department chairman, resigned as president of Nichols College in Dudley, Mass., amid revelations about his conduct while at the academy. Nichols launched an independent probe of Sulmasy after CNN reported he had exchanged sexually suggestive text messages with an academy cadet nearly a decade ago.
Another female cadet alleged Sulmasy had verbally harassed her, commented on her appearance and made sexual comments.
Academy officials, who said they were unaware of the Sulmasy allegations before CNN reported them, banned Sulmasy from the academy's campus.
(c)2023 The Day (New London, Conn.)
Visit The Day (New London, Conn.) at www.theday.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.