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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Sestak staffers are jumping ship

I guess old habits and "poor command climate" die hard. From The Hill:

September 04, 2007

Freshman Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.), a retired three-star Navy admiral, has fast developed a reputation for being a temperamental and demanding boss. Thirteen staffers have quit this year, say former aides citing public records.

Sestak’s reputation as a difficult manager, which hounded him in the Navy, has followed him to Congress. The Navy Times reported in 2005 that Sestak was relieved from his last post as deputy chief of Naval operations because of “poor command climate.”

Now, in running his congressional office, Sestak has imported a measure of military toughness; he is battling a “misguided” culture in Washington, said William Walsh, Sestak’s district director.

Aides are expected to work seven days a week, including holidays, often 14 hours each day, going for months without a day off. These are very long hours even by Capitol Hill standards.

As our readers might recall, from The Navy Times:

July 25, 2005

Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (DCNO) Vice Adm. Joseph Sestak was "administratively reassigned" July 25 by new Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Mullen, according to Rear Adm. T. McCreary, chief of naval information.

"Rear Adm. Mark Edwards, currently serving as director of the Surface Warfare Division, will serve as the acting DCNO until such time as a relief can be identified, nominated and confirmed," McCreary said.

A source within the Navy Department said there were no allegations of misconduct on the part of Sestak. Rather, he said, the move is being made because of poor command climate.

"Command climate and how people exercise their leadership responsibilities are key priorities for Admiral Mullen," the source said, "and this position is one of the key jobs that will help determine the success of the Navy, its people, and its future force structure."

Sestak's removal is one of the first moves made by Mullen, who was sworn into office on Friday.