The executive director of the Missile Defense Agency engaged in sexual relationships with two subordinates at different times over the past two decades, according to a Defense Department inspector general report released Tuesday.

In the course of one of those relationships, Laura M. DeSimone also misused government communications equipment to carry on the affair, while also using her position to advocate for a promotion for the subordinate, the investigation found.

“Ms. DeSimone added that the relationship was consensual and did not affect or interfere with her job in any way,” according to the report. “Ms. DeSimone told us that she did not think anyone at the MDA knew about her relationship with Subordinate 1.”

But witnesses the IG interviewed said they were well aware of the affair, and got the impression that DeSimone favored the woman over her coworkers.

The relationship lasted years, DeSimone told investigators, while she was her direct supervisor. She failed to report her relationship to her manager and to recuse herself from proceedings that could have given the impression of favoritism toward the subordinate, the report found, including advocating for a promotion for her.

Two calls to the DOD hotline in early 2021 sparked the investigation, one alleging an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate and another alleging sexual harassment against a different subordinate. The IG did not find any evidence of the second claim, but in interviewing 23 witness and reviewing millions of pieces of communication, found that DeSimone had engaged in inappropriate relationships.

DeSimone admitted to the IG that she’d had an affair with one subordinate between 2018 and 2022 while working at MDA, and another from 2005 to 2007 while serving at Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division in Virginia. She denied, however, that she had been involved in efforts to promote the MDA subordinate.

The report also found that DeSimone used her government cell phone to carry on the affair, to the tune of more than 2,000 text messages and more than 580 phone calls from August 2018 to October 2020. While they did have a working relationship, the IG found that 61% of their communications happened on nights and weekends outside of working hours.

The IG recommended “appropriate action” for DeSimone, which its director, Air Force Lt. Gen. Heath Collins, is considering.

“Missile Defense Agency leadership is reviewing the findings of the IG report and will then decide what actions, if any, are appropriate to take,” Navy Cmdr. Timothy Gorman, a Pentagon spokesman, told Military Times on Thursday.

The report also recommends implementing a Defense Department policy for self-reporting intimate relationships at the office.

Meghann Myers is the Pentagon bureau chief at Military Times. She covers operations, policy, personnel, leadership and other issues affecting service members.

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