Featured eBooks
Digital First
Cyber Threats: Preparing States and Localities
Cybersecurity & the Road Ahead
Navy investigates misuse of comp time, leave rules

Two top executives at a Navy facility in Rhode Island have been suspended amid an investigation into employee misuse of compensatory time and leave rules at a 50,000-worker Navy command.

Two top executives at a Navy facility in Rhode Island have been suspended amid an investigation into employee misuse of compensatory time and leave rules at a 50,000-worker Navy command.

John Sirmalis, technical director of the Naval Sea Systems Command's Undersea Warfare Center in Newport, R.I., and Juergen Keil, executive director of the facility, have been placed on administrative leave as a result of the investigation, according to a source at the center.

The action took place after a Feb. 11 Navy inspector general report found that employees at the center used religious comp time-which federal workers are allowed to use to observe their religions-for non-religious purposes. The report also found that leave time had been improperly restored to some employees under provisions in the 1990 Base Realignment and Closure Act.

The report recommended that officials investigate the use of religious comp time and restored leave at all Naval Sea Systems Command units.

Citing the Privacy Act, Naval Sea Systems Command spokeswoman Pat Dolan said she could not discuss any actions that may have been taken against Sirmalis and Keil. But Dolan said a new acting technical director, Patricia Dean, has been assigned to the center. A new acting executive director, Donald McCormack, has also been assigned.

The Navy won't release the Feb. 11 inspector general report, said Lt. Cmdr. Pauline Storum, a Navy spokeswoman. "It is not a releasable document," she said, because the inspector general "has not completed disposition of the case." Dolan said the command would never be able to talk about disciplinary actions against individuals because of Privacy Act restrictions.

The command oversees the Navy's fleet and combat systems, controls a $20 billion annual budget and has facilities in 15 states.

Storum said the inspector general isn't investigating improper use of religious comp time or restored leave at any of the Navy's other divisions.

Under religious comp time rules, federal employees can work overtime hours so they can take time off for religious observations during regular work hours.

Under the 1990 Base Realignment and Closure Act, some employees affected by base closure actions can carry over an unlimited amount of annual leave from one year to the next. Normally, the employees could lose some leave hours that they didn't use under the government's "use-or-lose" leave rules.

Employees at the Rhode Island facility went through training last week on how to properly fill out their time cards.