Pentagon Report Slams Ex-General

An internal Defense Department investigation has concluded the Pentagon's former deputy inspector general, Major General David Hale, "engaged in a pattern of inappropriate behavior," including an alleged affair with the wife of an officer on his staff and "improper relationships" with three other wives of subordinate officers.

A report on Monday by Inspector General Eleanor Hill said Hale also "sanctioned the misuse of government funds" to pay for one wife's travel and he had "made false and misleading statements" concerning his conduct.

The Army announced last week that it was opening a criminal investigation of the now-retired two-star general. The allegations involve a period from 1996 to 1997 while Hale was stationed in Turkey as the deputy commanding general for NATO land forces in southeastern Europe.

Hale has not been available for comment. The inspector general's report, however, said Hale "strongly denied all the allegations of inappropriate conduct, while acknowledging a relationship that he maintained with the former spouse of a subordinate Army officer who served with him in Hawaii."

Hale's case became public after The Washington Times reported this year that Donnamaria Carpino, the wife of an Army colonel, charged Hale had "forced her into a four-month sexual relationship" in Izmir, Turkey, while her husband was posted there. She said Hale threatened to ruin her husband's career.

However, the inspector general's report concluded, "all testimony and documentation we obtained indicated that the sexual relationship was consensual."

Representative Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., who has been outspoken on allegations of sexual harassment and abuse of women in the military, said the report confirmed her "worst suspicions."

"Not only have most of those charges been confirmed, but a pattern of similar behavior, involving the wives of other subordinate officers, has been established," Maloney said in a written statement.

The inspector general's report said the woman reported that while she was delivering Christmas cookies to Hale in December 1996, he closed the office door and "suddenly and unexpectedly expressed special feelings for her and kissed her on the lips."

The report noted there were no witnesses to the alleged incident.

She also said Hale later told her that her husband was having an affair with a female officer.

The report said 18 witnesses suspected the existence of an improper relationship.

Hale asked to retire this year after serving only four months in the Army inspector general's office. He was allowed to do so under honorable conditions.

By TOM RAUM