Report clears Jeffrey Harley on most allegations

Rear Adm. Jeffrey A. Harley, then president of the Naval War College, during a Providence Journal interview in August 2017.

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G. Wayne Miller

Rear Adm. Jeffrey A. Harley, then president of the Naval War College, during a Providence Journal interview in August 2017.

NEWPORT, R.I. – The Office of Naval Inspector General has cleared former Naval War College president Rear Adm. Jeffrey A. Harley of most of the allegations of misconduct claimed to have occurred after he took command of the 136-year-old school in July 2016, The Providence Journal has learned.

Harley, in one of a series of interviews with the The Providence Journal, part of the USA TODAY Network, called the findings “deeply gratifying.” He said many of the most sensational allegations – “offers of ‘free hugs’ and games of Twister in his office” – reflected a misunderstanding of his sense of humor, which he describes as “quirky,” but which he says was intended to ease tensions in what can be a stressful environment.

The allegations, reported last year by the Associated Press, prompted a national controversy that led to Harley leaving the college presidency after almost three years in office.

Two allegations have been referred without judgment to other branches of the Navy. Harley has contested the remaining ones.

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