Woody Johnson, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom, asked investigators from the State Department not to pass along claims that he made “inappropriate or insensitive comments” to staff, The New York Times reports.
Last month, CNN reported that Johnson, the billionaire co-owner of the New Jersey Jets football team, made numerous racist and sexist comments that offended members of his staff. Johnson denied the accusations, but a recently released report from the office of the inspector general of the State Department, following a routine inspection of the American Embassy in London, recommended that State Department officials review Johnson’s conduct.
The OIG report notes that staffers said in interviews and questionnaires that Johnson “sometimes made inappropriate or insensitive comments on topics generally considered Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)-sensitive, such as religion, sex, or color.”
Johnson wrote in a letter to the inspector general’s office dated May 27, which was included in the report, that since there was no official complaint from an employee, the inspectors should rethink “including the recommendation in the final report and concluding that my actions have negatively affected morale.”
He added, “If I have unintentionally offended anyone in the execution of my duties, I deeply regret that, but I do not accept that I have treated employees with disrespect or discriminated in any way.”
The Times notes that this was the only change that embassy leadership requested out of the report’s 22 recommendations.
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