Clifford Stanley, above, under secretary for personnel and readiness, is stepping down from his post. Above, Stanley testifies in April 2010 at a hearing on Capitol Hill. (Thomas Brown / Staff file photo)
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Clifford Stanley has resigned in the midst of an Inspector General investigation of his performance as undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness.
Stanley will be leaving within the next few weeks, said Doug Wilson, assistant secretary of defense for public affairs. JoAnn Rooney, currently the principal deputy, will serve as acting undersecretary until a successor is named, Wilson said.
"This decision was his. He was not fired. It was his own decision to resign," Wilson said. "He did so because he felt ... he'd arrived at a point where the next steps could be carried out most effectively by a successor."
Stanley, a retired Marine Corps major general, wrote in his resignation letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta: "This letter is not about me. It's about the men and women we serve! I'm not ashamed to say that I love them all. It is with that thought that I am tendering my resignation.
"I believe the P&R [Personnel and Readiness] is on the right path. I've asked them to ensure that compassion is ever present in their work. I've joked about the bureaucracy in the Pentagon, but with the understanding that there is some good in having a bureaucracy that is focused on taking care of our troops, families, retirees and civilian employees."
Panetta, who accepted the resignation while travelling in Asia, has praised Stanley as an advocate for men and women in uniform, Wilson said.
Stanley became undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness in February 2010. But he quickly ran afoul of his own staff.
At least nine complaints were filed with the DoD IG, a staff member in the Personnel and Readiness directorate said. Three of the complaints obtained by Military Times accuse Stanley of creating a command climate marked by fear and mistrust, wasting money on a superfluous contract and on the construction of a Pentagon conference room.
One complaint claimed that 30 senior executive service civilians had been "fired, forced to retire or resign, detailed involuntarily or marginalized in other ways" since Stanley took the job.
The IG investigation has not been completed, Wilson said. "It's ongoing, but that was not a motivation for his decision to resign."