Woody Johnson, the Trump administration’s ambassador to the United Kingdom, has reportedly been cleared of allegations of making insensitive and inappropriate comments during his tenure, including about race, religion, and sex.
Johnson, the co-owner of the New York Jets, was cleared by the State Department’s Office of Civil Rights, which concluded that the allegations were “unsubstantiated,” Fox News first reported.
The 74-year-old was appointed to the post of ambassador to Britain in August 2017.
“All of those allegations were looked at by the highest levels of the State Department,” Johnson said of the allegations during a press conference on June 16. “The Office of Civil Rights conducted an extensive survey and all of the allegations and concluded that none of it was substantiated. None of it.”
It comes after the State Department’s inspector general said in August last year it asked the relevant State Department bureau to conduct further review on the allegations based on its findings and take action, a recommendation the agency disagreed with.
“Offensive or derogatory comments, based on an individual’s race, color, sex, or religion, can create an offensive working environment and could potentially rise to a violation of EEO (Equal Employment Opportunity) laws,” the August 2020 report said.
The inspector general’s office said at the time that it found that Johnson’s “demanding and hard-driving” management style had a negative impact on morale in some sections of the embassy.
The report also gave examples of how Johnson’s conduct “did not always model the principles of the Department.”
“For example, some embassy staff told OIG that when the Ambassador was frustrated with what he interpreted to be excessive staff caution or resistance to suggestions about which he felt strongly, he sometimes questioned their intentions or implied that he might have them replaced,” the report said.
“This caused staff to grow wary of providing him with their best judgment.”
Johnson denied the allegations at the time, saying on Twitter last August that he had “followed the ethical rules and requirements of my office at all times. These false claims of insensitive remarks about race and gender are totally inconsistent with my longstanding record and values.”
The State Department didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment by The Epoch Times.
Johnson held the position until January, when President Joe Biden took office.
Reuters contributed to this report.