Two Senators Call for Suspension of Top Army Official Accused of Sexual Harassment
Citing that drill sergeants accused of misconduct are suspended from training duties, Republican Senators Olympia Snowe (ME) and Rick Santorum (PA) both stated on February 7th that the Army should suspend Gene McKinney. McKinney, the top ranking enlisted Army man, has been accused of sexual harassment by Brenda Hoster, a retired sergeant major. Hoster alleges that while on a business trip to Hawaii, McKinney asked for sex, kissed and grabbed her. Hoster subsequently quit the Army after officials ignored her complaints. McKinney denies the allegations, but did step down from a panel reviewing allegations of sexual harassment in the military. Both Senators, who are members of the Armed Forces Committee, stated that McKinney's decision to step down from the panel was not enough; they said McKinney should also face suspension until the matter is resolved. Army Secretary Togo West has defended the Army's decision to allow McKinney to continue with his duties, but later said that the decision of his suspension was an "open question" that "we will undoubtedly consider again."
Media Resources: The New York Times - February 10, 1997