From our buddy Phil,
Apart from complaining that they hadn't been briefed in advance about the "slush fund" report before its release, members defended Fowler and criticized what they said was an investigation that wrongly imposed a set of standards on academy leaders who hadn't known they applied to them.They don't get it. Find people who do.
"It's so absurd that I've never gotten over it," said board member Nancy Johnson. "Honorable people were demeaned."
Johnson said the IG wronged Fowler and his team because it had retroactively applied stringent standards they had never been asked to meet, and so couldn't know they weren't following official rules. According to the federal standards cited by the IG, academy officials weren't permitted to spend donated money on parties, gifts and other semi-official parts of life on the Yard, but that doesn't make sense for the Naval Academy, Johnson said - it's a college and so needs to host receptions, recruit athletes and so forth.
On that point, she was asked whether she thought the academy should continue doing business in the ways detailed by the IG report, including throwing lavish dinners that cost $259 per person and buying gifts for guests, coaches and midshipmen.
"I think, looking over it, it's perfectly acceptable," Johnson said.
Hat tip Bob.