Investigators cleared National Park Service (NPS) deputy director P. Daniel Smith of committing sexual harassment when he simulated urinating while telling a story, according to the Inspector General (IG).
The IG for the Department of the Interior (DOI) began investigating Smith after an anonymous letter alleged the deputy director “touched himself obscenely” and spoke vulgarities in front of coworkers, according to The Washington Post.
“Smith and another NPS employee recalled Smith telling a story while they were standing in the hallway together, but they denied that Smith touched himself obscenely or used any vulgar language,” a Thursday summary of the IG’s report stated. (RELATED: The Crow Tribe Fired An Accountant And Lost Track Of $14 Million Federal Funds)
“Smith acknowledged he gestured with his hands to simulate urinating while telling a story and stated that in hindsight the story and the gesture were not appropriate for work,” the summary continued.
The coworker present when Smith told the story was not offended by his action, and nobody could be found who witnessed the event and took offense to it. Smith and his co-worker admitted the story and act were inappropriate for the workplace, according to the IG.
The anonymous letter sent to the IG described the event as “vile and disgusting.” The NPS employee wrote the letter anonymously fearing retaliation if she made herself known, according to WaPo.
“I really could not believe what I was seeing or hearing just outside of my office,” the letter said. “He grabbed his crotch and penis in a public place.”
“As a leader, I must hold myself to the highest standard of behavior in the workplace,” Smith wrote in a staff-wide email, according to WaPo. “I am very sorry for my mistake in telling this story and any discomfort it clearly caused.”
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